If you’re having trouble starting an exercise plan or following through with it, you are not alone. Many people struggle to get out of a habit, despite their best intentions.
You probably already know that there are loads of great reasons you should be exercising. From improving your mood, energy levels, sleep, and health to reducing stress, depression, and anxiety. Detailed exercise routines and workouts are only a click away. but, if knowing why and how to exercise was enough, everyone would be in shape. Turing exercise into a habits takes a little more, it’s essential for you to have a smart approach and right mindset.
Exercise can be made more challenging by busy schedules or poor health, but for the majority, the barrier is mental. It could be a lack of confidence that prevents the positive steps, or that motivation slips away, or the fact that you are easily discouraged so give up. Everyone has been there at some point.
Regardless of your age or fitness level, even if you haven’t exercised since school, there are some steps you can take to make exercise a lot less intimidating, more fun, and instinctive.
Get Rid Of The All Or Nothing Attitude
Exercise isn’t about whether you exercise religiously or have a week off, it’s about moderation. You don’t have to force yourself to spend hours in the gym or force yourself to complete painful exercises that you don’t enjoy. Completing a little bit of exercise is much better than doing nothing. In fact, if you add modest amounts of exercise to your weekly routine it can improve both your emotional and mental health.
Be Kind To Yourself
Self-compassion can lead to you being more successful in any endeavor. This means you shouldn’t beat yourself up about your body, your lack of willpower, or current level of fitness. Instead, look at the mistakes you have made in the past like unhealthy choices as ways you can learn and grow.
Look At Your Expectations
You didn’t become unfit overnight, therefore you’re not going to instantly transform your body either. Having too high of an expectation too soon can leave you feeling frustrated. Try not to get discouraged by how far you may have to reach your fitness goals or what you can’t accomplish at the moment. Focus on consistency instead of the results. You will see the improvements in your energy levels and mood quicker than the physical payoff. But that will come with time.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
You should always remember that when you start an exercise routine, doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Go for a quick walk rather than sit on the couch, just one minute of exercise will help you to lose more weight than no activity. However, the current recommendations are for an adult to hit at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. Exercising for 30min five times a week will get you to reach this goal. Or shorter workouts added together work just as well.
How Much Effort Is Needed?
The level of exercise you complete is going to depend on your physical fitness. For the majority of people, moderate intensity is what’s needed to improve overall health. You shouldn’t be out of breath but breathing a little heavier than normal. There is no need to overdo it, and everyone is different.
How To Stick To An Exercise Habit
If you think about new year’s resolutions, there is a reason why getting it, losing weight, or committing to exercise are some of the most commonly chosen. However, many of them crash and burn before we even get to February. It’s not because we don’t have what it takes, it’s because it needs to be turned into a habit. If you want to turn exercise into a habit follow some of these tips:
Start Off Small And Build
Setting yourself the goal of exercising for 30mins five times a week may sound like a really good idea, but how likely is it that you follow through with it? If you set yourself an ambitious goal that is miles away from where you are at at the moment, you are more likely to fail, feel bad about it, and then give up. Start yourself with easy exercise goals that you know you can achieve, such as including a new type of exercises like a Zercher squat or cycling. As you meet your goals, you will build your momentum and self-confidence with exercise. You can then change your goals and make them more challenging.
Use Triggers To Make It Automatic
Using triggers as a positive thing is one of the secrets to turning exercise into a habit. Research has shown us that people who consistently exercise reply to triggers. A trigger is something as simple as a certain time of the day, a place, or a cue. These then kick start an automatic response. They are what turn your routine into autopilot mode. You don’t have to make a decision or think about anything. Doing things like setting an alarm for exercise can prompt you to get up and put your trainers on and walk out the door for your daily walk. Find ways that you can work some triggers into your daily routine and you will be well on your way to building a habit.
Give Yourself Rewards
Think about the rewards that exercise can bring to your life such as more energy, a greater sense of well-being, and more energy. These are often the reasons that people stick to an exercise routine. However. These are long-term rewards, and when you start a new exercise program, it’s essential for you to give yourself instant rewards. Choose something that you know you enjoy or look forward to, but don’t allow yourself to have it or do it until you have exercised or hit a goal. Even if it’s something as simple as a nice coffee or a hot bath.
This short guide should help you to beat your fear of exercise and turn it into a healthy habit. Is there anything that you find that helps you stick to a regular exercise routine? Please share in the comment below.