Making Exercise A Habits!   

Making Exercise A Habits!

If you take it step by step, working out will become an indispensable part of your day.

We are all creatures of habit. Taking a bath and brushing our teeth are things we do like clockwork, but if our parents did not drill these habits into our heads when we were kids, they would not be part of our routine. All habits, good or bad, are formed by the same mechanisms. Here are tips to help you make exercise a healthy habit.


All habits are formed through repetition. Psychologists say it takes 21 repetitions for behavior to become habit if you can find a way to exercise for at least 21 consecutive times, you have a greater chance of making exercise a part of your life style.

Be accountable to someone
Parents succeed in instilling good hygiene habits in their children because they "carry a big stick." ("If we don't brush our teeth, we get tooth decay.")

Use the same strategy by choosing an exercise buddy who will hold you accountable for missing a workout.
A trick that works is to make a wager with a good friend. A Michigan State University study found that people who do so are 97 percent more likely to succeed in sticking to their exercise programs than if they do not. Penalties for missed exercise sessions could be money saved for an expensive item like athletic shoes.

Do it in stages
"Shaping" is a behavioral technique used to train animals like dolphins to .do fantastic stunts. It involves molding the ultimate behaviour (such as exercising for an hour every day) by breaking it down into small steps (exercising for 15 minutes, three times a week).
Some try to do too much in the beginning, burning themselves out or suffering injury before exercise can become a habit. An important component of shaping behavior is to reward yourself for achieving small, short-term goals. Start out by exercising for 15 minutes a day.
Reward yourself every time you add another five minutes to your workout.

Keep a record
A logbook is very important in motivating yours elf to continue until exercise becomes a habit.
Behavioral scientists have found that people who keep records of their attendance and progress are more likely to succeed in making exercise a permanent part of their lifestyle. When you become "addicted" to exercise, you won't need to keep a record anymore.

Prepare your exercise clothes
If you work out in the morning, prepare your exercise clothes the night before and put them in a conspicuous location. If you exercise after work, bring your gym bag to the office so you can change there and go straight to the gym.

Schedule your workouts
Plan your sessions just like you would important appointments, but be realistic. For example, exercise after you see your kids off to school in the morning. Or go to work 30 minutes earlier than necessary so that you can exercise during lunch break. Exercising at the same time every day instead of when you have time to spare ensures that working out will become a permanent ritual.

Another tip:
Many find it easier to get into an exercise routine if they do it every day rather than three times a week. Split your workouts so that you won't feel like you are exercising your life away Try this schedule: Do aerobic workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then lift weights on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Rest on Sunday.

Happy reading,

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