make exercise a habit

7 Ways to Make Exercise a Habit πŸ†

I've been often asked how I'm able to keep up with exercise and go to the gym five days a week... and my answer is clear: "You need to make exercise a habit"

If you want to succeed, to get the body you've dreamed of, or simply to get healthier and work on yourself, you must make exercise a habit. And in this post, I'll cover 7 easy and effective ways to make that happen:Β make exercise a habit

How to Build Good Habits

You need habits. Humans are daily-based live beings, and your nature asks for repeated actions to synchronize your body with nature and the environment you are surrounded by.

It's often hard to build habits in a spontaneous and stressful society as the one we experience nowadays. But that doesn't mean it's impossible.

If you get to understand the characteristics of a good habit, making it happen will be a much smoother road to run through.

how to build good habits

This checklist summarizes what a good habit is. A good habit must be attractive, easy, obvious, and satisfying. It must be the "how" to cover a "why" you want to improve in your life. It must improve your life, get you closer to your goals, and adhere to your lifestyle.

How to Make Exercise a Habits

Making exercise a habit is one of the key aspects of success.

Exercise is a long term race. The main benefits of exercise come on the long term. You don't feel healthier, stronger, or leaner right away. It's the "doing everyday" what gets you there.

But how do you make exercise a habit? How can you get to not miss a workout anymore? In the next 5 min, 7 easy ways to make exercise a habit.

Follow the 2-Minutes Rule

β€œWhen you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.” - James Clear

Make a trigger that takes less than 2 minutes from start (say you are going to the gym) to end (leave home)

Have your gym bag ready from the night before, and put it in main door. That way, when gym time comes, you'll only have to get your shoes, keys, grab the bag, and go.

See how easy it seems? If instead of that I tell you to grab the gym bag, decide your outfit, look for the shoes, make a coffee on the meanwhile, take your headphones,.... you are not going.

Follow the Same Ritual

Winston Churchill was a tremendously busy man. But even with all the things he got to do, he still had time to enjoy life. He knew how to save energy when energy wasn't required. How to sit down when he didn't need to be standing, or how to sleep when noone asked for his presence.

Following a ritual has the same purpose: clear your mind and don't make your brain thinking about what to do.Β 

Tell your brain you are going to th gym even before that happens. Motivate yourself.

Training your mind is #1 step to train your body. If your mind is willing to hit the gym, the workout will be a blast.

Find your ritual and stick to it. Listen to your favourite music while having a coffee, prepare your workout, walk the dog...

It doesn't matter what you do, but do it.

Be Concise and Precise

Don't play with your brain. Don't mess around, and say exactly what you'll be doing.

Specify when, how and what you are going to exercise. Your brain will catch as an order, and store it on the "to-do" list.

I'm going to do [exercise] on [day] at [time] in/at [place]

The more specific you are, the easier for your brain to catch the order. Note it on paper, put it up on the eyes line, and stick it to the wall.

Start Very Small

Start with the minimum possible. Go for a 5 min run, do two exercise at the gym, swim 400m... The smaller you start, the easier will be to adhere.

How many times have you tried to run but given up on the second day because the first one was too tiring?

Give you time. Be patient, and don't hurry to reach the top from day zero. That's not gonna work.

Start small. Something easy to accomplish that won't be a huge challenge for you.

How to build good habits

Make Slow Progress

You've started small. Now you have the whole journey to improve.

Make slow but continuous progress. Increase intensity and/or duration of your workouts. Make sure you are improving.

The changes will be so small that you won't even notice. And that's the whole point of this. Don't disturb your body. Keep it simple, and slowly progress towards your goal.

Once again, give you time and be patient.

Commit to the Others

We are social beings. We need to be in society. We need the others. And we like it or not, what they think of us matter... a lot.

Tell your friends and family you are going to the gym. Create commitment.

If you end up failing to what you said, you'll betray them. You'll be the "loser with not enough willpower to go to the gym"

Do you want to be that one? Cause I don't

Social commitment motivates you to do things you wouldn't do on your own. It's your opportunity to show yourself to the world.

Show them how disciplined, commited to your goals, and confident on yourself you are. Tell them, and go to the f***ing gym

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Set a Reward

All suffering comes with a reward. If not, why would you suffer?

But there's a problem... the reward of doing exercise is not totally instantaneous. Although you may feel better after the workout, the main benefits of exercise come on the long term.

Because there's no clear reward of doing exercise, you must give yourself one. Take a hot and relaxing bath, make the meal you like the most, call your girlfriend,...

If you know there's a reward coming, you'll do whatever it takes to deserve it. In other words, setting a reward gives sense to your workout and pushes you to give it all.

Conclusion

In the long term, habits are key. If you want to succeed on your fitness and health goals, you need to make exercise a habit.

In this post we've seen how to make exercise a habit. Daily actions to do to make exercise more attractive, satisfying, easy and obvious.

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