How many times have you started on an exercise program but struggled to keep it up regularly? And, you know the payoff is fantastic. Because the reward is improved health, fitness, and appearance. Nevertheless, it’s hard to do. However, one sure way to succeed is to turn it into an exercise habit, just like brushing your teeth in the morning.
The exercise habit has several features:
Most of all, the goal has to be specific. However, the goal should not be related to the outcome of the exercise. For example, a goal, such as running a mile under 6 minutes, would be unachievable by most people. So a goal like that sets you up for failure. However, a better narrower goal could be running for 20 minutes as fast as you can. Because you can time it, such a goal is also measurable.
Also, the goal is achievable because there is no constraint on how fast you run during the 20 minutes. Therefore, for a runner, running for 20 minutes, would be an achievable goal. However, for someone who likes walking, a realistic goal would be walking for 20 minutes. And, if you set aside 20 minutes for this activity, the goal is also timely.
In addition, the goal could be a short term goal or it could be a long term goal. For example, a long term goal could be preparing for a 5K run coming up in a few months. On the other hand, a short term goal could be jogging for 20 minutes, three times a week for a month.
Furthermore, goals can change with time. For example, once you achieved your first goal, you can change it. On the other hand, if you have a long term goal (like the 5K run), you can break it down into smaller achievable goals.
Most of all, it’s important to limit your goals so that they are achievable in a realistic amount of time. For example, a good short term goal could be something like, spending 10 minutes on the treadmill or going out for a 10 minute walk several days a week for a month.
And, if you are new to lifting weights, an achievable goal could be something like lifting, say, 50 pounds in a reasonable amount of time.
For example, if you are just starting out, begin with exercising three times a week. Then, over time, you can increase it to four or five times a week. And do it week after week, month after month so that it becomes part of a routine: it becomes an exercise habit.
Most noteworthy, this is also referred to as stacking a habit to some other habit. An example of such a habit could be going to or coming home from work. And, you can tie the exercise habit to when you leave work.
On the other hand, it could be one of the first things you do in the morning, like having breakfast (breakfast being a habit). Consequently, you could exercise before having breakfast.
Furthermore, developing such a connection makes it easier to do the exercise habit. And it’s also easier because you have set aside time for doing the exercise.
Most noteworthy, one of the drawbacks with stacking habits together is that, one day, an event might cause the triggering habit to disappear. Consequently, this would cause you to forget the exercise habit. Furthermore, this happens a lot when you go on a vacation.However, the way to recover from this breakdown is to do a reboot and string together the habits again.
In conclusion, forming an exercise habit is the best way to succeed with your goal of getting strong and healthy.