Want to change your mentality to make exercise a habit instead of a chore? Check out top 10 tips to make exercise a habit and get excited for your next workout, according to our partners in fitness at the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers (AIPT).
10. Make it so easy you can’t say no
The most effective way in beginning to make exercise a habit is to have a fall-back exercise that’s so easy you can do it even when you’re running low on willpower and motivation. In other words, make this exercise so easy that it’s impossible to say no to. A half hour walk around your neighbourhood, going for a hike in the rainforest with a friend or even heading to the beach for some yoga.
9. Opt for variety
There’s nothing quite like monotony for stopping an exercise routine in its tracks. Variety is essential in maintaining an active lifestyle, so start exploring your options. You don’t have to go to the gym each and every day to exercise.
8. Make exercise your stress reliever
Instead of vegging out and calling it a day after 5pm, make your exercise habit your go-to for relieving stress. Do it for the endorphin rush.
7. Keep a record of your exercise activities
Noting down every type of exercise you do during the week is not only great for being able to track your fitness journey, but acts as a sturdy reminder to keep going. Look back at your original routine in six months’ time, and you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come.
6. Reward yourself
Not with a chocolate bar or a weekend in front of the couch – but a massage, road trip to the farmer’s markets or some online shopping for some new workout wear. Rewarding yourself for your hard work and dedication is good incentive to keep going.
5. Make it a habit first and purchase anything else later
Going all out and buying a home gym or ridiculously expensive health club membership in an effort to make exercise a habit can set you up for failure – while setting your bank account back a few hundred dollars. If you want to make your workout work long-term, concentrate on making it a habit first.
4. Enjoyment before effort
Heading to the gym and setting your timer on countdown until you can leave will only make you feel miserable and unmotivated. Make your exercise enjoyable, rather than doing it purely for results. You will be more likely to make something a habit if you like doing it.
3. One change at a time
Going full steam ahead with too many life changes at once can often lead to failure – so start by making one change at a time. In this instance, concentrate on getting yourself active for at least 20 minutes each day, regardless of what’s going on in your life. There are 24 hours in a day – if you have time to sit in front of the TV, you have time to exercise.
2. Stop saying yes to everyone
Life can be full-on and more often than not, you are going to be asked things that are going to interfere with your plans to work out. Understand you don’t have to automatically say ‘yes’ – ask yourself if this interference is important enough to adjust your routine around. Of course, there are going to be times where yes, things are going to have to take priority. But those after work drinks, or a long lunch leading to a late finish time? Not always necessary.
1. Weekends count
Monday to Friday exercise can often be the backbone of a motivated, feel-good week – and then the weekend arrives, full of alcohol, junk food and doing as little as possible. Make sure your exercise habit carries through to the weekend, where you have more time to get out and try exercises you wouldn’t normally do.
This blog originally appeared on our partner, AIPT’s website here.