Making exercise a habit is tough, no two ways about it. Motivation wears off, time is short and all too often the results we want are only available in the long run. We are all well intentioned but life just has a way of taking over.
Success in business or other aspects of our life are not necessarily precursors to achievement in the areas of health and fitness.
We can’t change that there is 24 hours in a day and we spend about 1/3 of that time working. If you have just battled traffic for an hour coming home, haven’t eaten since lunch and have been entirely stressed out by the boss all day, then you’re done.
You will likely want to surround yourself with the kind of comfort that is only found at home. That might be the TV, a beer and the recliner. It probably isn’t the drive to the gym, the line up for a treadmill, the exercise or the need for yet another shower today.
Eventually it comes down to what we value most in the limited time we have on earth.
But, with all that said we still see the value in exercise and we’d like to look good in our jeans and be able to climb the stairs without passing out at the top. If only something was different in our lives.
What is your something? And what do people that have conquered the exercise habit do?
Here are some of the most common motivations shared by exercisers in a 12-year study of their activity:
- Generally just being fit and able to do life’s little chores without difficulty
- Having extra energy
- Enjoyment of movement
- Sleeping better and feeling more alert
- Being relaxed and stress free
- Weight management and appearance (gettin’ into those skinny jeans)
Habits of the Healthy
- Variety, do things that stimulate mentally and physically, there's no rule that says you have to go to a gym or buy expensive equipment, it’s all about activity. Things like weights, walking, running, tennis, yoga, cycling and swimming all work equally well.
- Find an exercise buddy who will keep you accountable.
- Make exercise a priority and schedule it into your busy day.
- Exercise first thing in the morning before your body knows what the heck you’re up to. If you belong to a health club and it is something you drive by on your way to or home from work you’re more likely to use it. And it will be a constant reminder of all the money you spent for that membership.
- Log your activity as inspiration to keep going. Pedometers are a great way to keep track of how far you’ve walked and how many steps you’ve taken.
- Think of other personal success markers that activity may have an impact on. That could be work performance, relationships, stress reduction and more.
- Get a dog, not just any dog, but one that likes and needs to be walked. Those little accessory dogs that you see celebrities carry in their purse are pretty much useless as an exercise buddy.
- Go on a trip, buy something you’ve always wanted, reward yourself. Making behavioral changes is tough so find rewards that will motivate you.
So there you have it, do you have what it takes to make exercise a part of your life?