Making Exercise A Habits!
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
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
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
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.