Making workouts a habit is easier said than done. It’s an issue we’ve all faced at some point. What happens is, most people come up with fitness goals but after a week or two of exercising, they abandon it.
So why do most people give up on their fitness goals that fast?
Well, the most common excuses people give are; lack of time, lack of motivation, pain after workouts, and unfavorable workout environments. With excuses comes disappointments – you may be disappointed for not achieving that perfect beach body or getting those six-pack abs you’ve always wanted.
However, the good news is, many people have achieved their fitness goals and you can too. So, can exercise become a habit? Yes, it can but how?
How to Develop the Habit of Daily Exercise
According to a study done in 2009, it takes about 66 repetitions to form a new healthy habit. Developing exercise habits won’t happen overnight. But persevering and taking action will eventually get you there.
The tips below will help you avoid workout excuses and help make exercising a fun habit. This way, you can live a healthy lifestyle and achieve the desired body shape.
1 . Have an “If and Then Mentality”
Remember the common exercise excuses discussed earlier in this post? If you’re starting a workout routine, you’ll most likely make those excuses within days or weeks.
So what’s the solution?
Always be prepared: Have an “if and then mentality.”
This means you should be aware of the potential workout obstacles you’ll face – and come up with a plan to avoid them. For example, if your workout routine is running every evening after work, but your friends tempt you to go take beer, then be prepared to decline their offer. Always remember how good you’ll feel after taking that run instead.
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2 . Start Small, Don’t Complicate It
If your goal is to workout, let’s say, thrice per week, stick to that frequency rather than overdoing it.
A common mistake many workout newbies make is starting workouts too hard e.g. working out daily for long. If you do this, you’ll lose the morale to go on and feel sick or exhausted. What you ought to do instead is to start slowly and comfortably. For example, as a workout newbie, you can dedicate 30 minutes to running every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you do this, you’ll feel motivated and energized, rather than feeling sick or exhausted if it were longer hours. After a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to run for 1 hour or more consistently.
3 . Decide on the Time You’ll Be Working Out and Stick to It
It’s so easy to forget about working out, especially if you’re a busy person. This is why it’s so important to decide on the time you’ll be working out. If you’re a morning person, set your alarm to, let’s say, 5.30 am every morning. Same applies if you’re free during lunchtime or evening.
Try as much as possible never to switch that time. Stick to the time you set. If you don’t stick to it, you’ll most likely postpone it until a later date. Soon, you’ll lose the momentum to work out altogether. You may also set a reminder on your phone, so you won’t forget.
4 . Make It Fun
Finding ways to make your workout routine fun and fulfilling, contributes to it being habitual. If you only focus on the pain during workouts, you’ll avoid and keep away from it.
So how do you make workouts pleasurable and fun?
Try playing fast tempo types of music such as EDM and hard rock during workouts. Also, try working out in an environment with nice scenery or fresh air. If you feel good while working out, you’ll definitely make it a habit with time.
5 . Create a Rest Day
It’s vital to have a rest day after working out. This allows your body to recover. However, if you do light workouts of, let’s say, 15 minutes, then rest days aren’t really necessary.
If you do heavy workouts, skip a day or two to allow your body to recover. It’s vital to also make rest days a habit, otherwise you’ll injure your body.
6 . Track Your Workout Progress
Tracking your workout progress will also help make it a habit. You may, for instance, write down all your workout reps, sets and current weight.
While this seems like a tedious task to do regularly, it will definitely help create a workout habit. This is because you’ll have the desire to constantly improve. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds and after a week’s workout, you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll definitely have the motivation to lose even more weight. Right? This will eventually become a habit. All the best with your workouts. Please tell us your workout hacks below, we would love to sample them.