7 Tips for Making Exercise a Healthy Habit
Exercise makes us happy and healthy. It can brighten our day and lengthen our life. It's no secret. It's science. Still, most Americans aren't physically active. In fact, the majority is overweight or obese.
If working out works, why doesn't everyone do it? There's a difference between knowing and doing, of course. The tricky part is making the transition from talk to action. Moving more, more often is a good option. It's a start. It's a step in the right direction. Do it now. Commit to more movement. Make it the first step toward making exercise a healthy habit. Then use these 7 tips to make that habit stick.
Go all in. Stop thinking about exercise. Don't talk about it. Do something. Anything. Maybe it's running or bodyweight training. A boot camp class or personal trainer. You could love it or hate it. You'll never know until you try. Once you do, you figure out what fitness means to you.
Map it out. Once you starting making progress, it's time to dive into the details of your training plan. What are your goals – strength, weight loss, athletic performance? There's no wrong answer. Only the one that's right for you. Take a minute to write it down. Map out your workouts. Create a schedule for training sessions. Now, stick to it!
Write it down. While sticking to it may be easier said than done, we're aiming for progress not perfection. With that in mind, make an effort to write down your workouts. Keep a training journal. It's how you'll track your progress, measure performance, monitor benchmarks.
Ask for help. When it comes to getting in shape, you don't have to go it alone. Enlist the help of a friend. Someone who is more knowledgeable when it comes to exercise. Seek out a reputable website. Schedule a consultation with a personal trainer. Get the answers to your questions. It will help you stay injury-free and progressing toward your goals.
Go public. Take to the Internet and tell everyone about your new fitness habit. Talk about your goals. Your struggles. Your successes. It will help you stay accountable. You'll build a support system and a network of fitness seekers. Surround yourself with good people, with other exercisers, and you'll be less likely to give up on your new habit.
Keep it fresh. Don't fall into an exercise rut. Mix up your workouts. Try new classes. Train with friends. Especially friends who participate in different, challenging and interesting types of exercise. It's a surefire way to learn new skills. It will help you step out of your comfort zone. It will serve as motivation to keep training. All the while you'll be burning calories and becoming more fit in the process.
Celebrate. Change doesn't happen overnight. But, if you create manageable goals and work toward them on a consistent basis, it will happen. When it does, celebrate your success. Remember, most people don't exercise. They don't take care of their bodies. They're not making health a priority. You are. That deserves a pat on the back and a round of applause. Take your victory lap. Then get back on track toward achieving your next goal.