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5 Easy Steps to Making Exercise a Habit — an article on the Smart Living Network
September 22, 2010 at 8:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

5 Easy Steps to Making Exercise a Habit

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No exercise program can be successful without one essential ingredient: consistency. If you are not giving your body physical activity on a regular basis, it will not respond, and you will miss out on all of the incredible benefits that exercising provides. Simply put, the more consistent you are in your exercise habits, the better the results will be. So, how do you improve those habits? Here are five easy ways to stick with your own individual program.

#1 Be Selective

When you design your routine, choose exercises that you consider fun instead of ones that might become tedious after a while. Some examples of the more exciting activities are walking, running, swimming, and bicycle riding. Aerobics feature a variety of movements that make it easy to stay focused and have fun while still getting a good cardio workout.

#2 Involve Other People

If exercising by yourself is boring, ask someone else to join you. This will make you look forward to your workouts more and it might also add a little friendly competition. Just remember to never compare yourself with others because each person has their own unique goals and fitness level. Another reason to invite a relative, spouse, or family member is that you are much less likely to skip a workout when you know that they are depending on you to be there.

#3 Change Your Routine

Even the most action-packed exercise program can be repetitive when it is done over and over again for a long period of time. Avoid the negative effects of predictable workouts by changing the exercises or using variations of them every so often. Try combining movements for an extra challenge and always be open to new activities. Adding music or switching to a different soundtrack or set of songs has been known to increase the amount of inspiration during a workout.

#4 Keep Track of Your Goals

Make a list of short term goals that you want to achieve. They can be divided into one or two goals each week and should be reasonable as well as challenging. When you exercise, write down the things that you do, including repetitions, weight, times, and whatever relevant information pertains to your specific routine. By keeping an exercise log, you will be able to see the results much more clearly when you achieve your goals. The results you document might not only apply to your physical appearance. Be sure to note when you get a good night�s sleep, have more energy, or feel more optimistic. These are just as significant and can really boost your enthusiasm for staying with an exercise program.

#5 Enjoy the Rewards

Whenever you do attain one of your own personal goals, do not hesitate to reward yourself for it. Maybe there is a CD or DVD you would like to purchase when you have reached the milestone of one or two months of exercising. Or, go to a movie when you beat your times, distances, or number of repetitions. Anything that motivates you is fair game and can be used as a reward. Of course, living longer and being healthy is always the ultimate reward of any exercise program.

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/exercise-habits?page=3

http://zenhabits.net/how-to-make-exercise-a-daily-habit-with-a-may-challenge/

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon

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