How to make exercise a daily habit

 

Exercise is hard. It’s difficult to get into a routine when you’ve spent so much time not doing it. But if you’re serious about exercise, you have to ask yourself: What’s holding you back? Exercise has the potential to prevent a great number of illnesses. If you eat healthily, it goes hand-in-hand with a healthy diet. Exercise is important and here’s how to make the most of it.

First and foremost, schedule a time to exercise. Put it on your calendar or your daily planner. Don’t make it a chore, but something pleasurable you want to do. You also want to set yourself a reminder. Just as you would set a working reminder, set a reminder to go to the gym. Have your phone buzz five to ten minutes before you have to walk out the door. That should give you enough time to get ready. That much time doesn’t give you an option to procrastinate; just do it.

You also have to mix up your routine. If you have a gym membership, you have a vast of options. You can focus on cardio or strength training. Try not to do all these in one day, however. If you focus on cardio during Monday’s workout, hit the weight machines on Tuesday or Wednesday. This gives your muscles an opportunity to not get too comfortable. You have to challenge your muscles. If a workout seems too easy, your muscles are going to stay the same strength they are now. Your goal is to become stronger.

It also helps if you have a gym buddy. I tell my husband that we’re each other’s accountability partners. He and I always go to the gym together. When you have someone to exercise with, it just got that much easier. Suddenly exercise doesn’t seem so boring. You know someone in the facility that you can talk to and share your workout with each day. He and I don’t always work out near each other, but we know the other is getting their workout done. We eat healthily and keep other on track. Find your accountability partner.

It also helps if you exercise at the same time each day. Maybe you exercise best in the morning. You roll out of bed and hit the treadmill. This method of exercising really gets people off and running for the day. Or, maybe you exercise best in the afternoon. You work 9-5 and workout before you pick the kids up from daycare. Find a time that works best for you and stick to it. Don’t suddenly start working out in the morning just because it’s convenient. Go at the same time each time you go. Not only is this going to help you create a routine, but it’s going to help you appreciate your workout more.

Finally, and probably most important, you have to log your activity. On Tuesday you walked the treadmill for 30 minutes and burned 52 calories. What were your speed and incline? Document your heart rate and whatever information is available. If you do the weight machines, note which machines, what the weight was and how many repetitions you completed. Having this documentation is going to help you in your workout. Once you keep it long enough, it helps you create a balanced routine. You find yourself hitting the same machines on Tuesday and different machines on Thursday. Make this a game with your accountability partner. It could be fun tracking who does what in the gym. Exercise is fun and it can be worth it. It’s going to be hard work, but you can do it!editor@urbanmediatoday.com

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