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Beyond the Workout: 6 Tips to Make Exercise a Habit

Learn how to make exercise a daily habit with these 6 tips. From setting goals to tracking progress, discover strategies to overcome obstacles and stay motivated.

Zak Mellor
Beyond the Workout: 6 Tips to Make Exercise a Habit
Table Of Contents

Making exercise a habit is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health. It benefits all areas of life: from increasing productivity levels to improving self-esteem, the advantages are limitless!

The good news is that even small changes in our daily routines—taking an extra 15 minutes per day to get active—can have significant, long-lasting effects. But while it's often easy to decide that we want to start exercising regularly, sticking with it can be something else entirely.

If you've ever struggled with forming this type of healthy habit before and feel ready for a new approach, then look no further; today's blog post will provide 6 simple tips to help make exercise something you do consistently!

Why Do You Fail to Stick to a Workout Routine

Working out can be a challenging habit to develop and stick to. Whether you have an existing workout routine or are just starting one, it sometimes feels like your good intentions don't last long.

While it may be frustrating and disheartening at times, the reasons why we fail to follow a workout routine are usually more complicated than it is due to simple laziness or lack of motivation.

We often overestimate how much exercise we're capable of when we start building a workout routine; without realistic goals and expectations in place, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and give up after just a few attempts.

Our lives are busy, timetables can feel infinite, and making the time for how we'd like to work out can be tricky—so when things appear too hard right away, it's understandable how people opt out rather than soldier on.

If individuals expect instantaneous results, they'll become discouraged when their expectations don't immediately match what's happening in the mirror. It's important to remember that everyone has different goals and a unique approach to fitness.

Thus, having realistic objectives and recognizing progress in even the smallest of increments helps to develop better habits and sustain motivation. In essence, setting concrete plans with easy-to-manage but challenging goals at each stage of your progress can help you stick with your workout routine in the long run!

6 Tips to Make Exercise a Habit

Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and maintain an active lifestyle, but how do you make it part of your daily routine? To help, here are six tips on how to make exercise a habit:

1. Find Your 'Why'

Exercise routines can be challenging to keep up with in our fast-paced lives, but finding your "why" can make a huge difference in making exercise a habit. Taking the time to decide how and why exercising is personally rewarding makes it much more likely for you to stick with it.

It could be because you want to challenge yourself, meet fitness goals, or become stronger overall. Whatever the reason, having a purpose behind your workouts can help you stay motivated and consistent.

When you understand how exercise fits into your life and benefits you, and will enhance other areas in your life, you will be able to create positive associations with working out that will act as long-term motivation.

With tangible results related to how far you've come combined with emotional rewards from knowing how this has helped improve your well-being and lifestyle, making exercise a habit becomes significantly easier.

2. Set 'Measurable' Goals

Setting measurable goals is an integral part of making exercise a habit, and setting measurable goals can make the process easier.

These goals should be specific to give you something tangible to work towards and measure your success. An example could include setting a goal to walk or run for 20 minutes daily, targeting a specific number of sit-ups or burpees daily, or performing strength training exercises using the adjustable dumbbells weekly.

Writing down these goals and posting them somewhere visible in your home can help support your efforts and keep the motivation alive. To track how well you're doing, consider using an app to keep details of how often exercise took place, how long it lasted, how intense it was, etc. This way, you adapt your routine as necessary and can enjoy congratulating yourself every time you reach one of your goals!

Establishing solid and achievable goals helps break down the daunting task of making time for physical activity into smaller objectives that add to longer-term results. Seeing how many goals have been met by each week's end can be incredibly rewarding, and it is the motivation necessary to stay on track.

3. Pair Up Your Workout With Something Fun

One of the easiest ways to make exercise a habit is to make exercise fun. You can do this by pairing your workout with something you enjoy. For example, create a motivating playlist for your run or cycling session if you love music. Or, if you're a keen gamer, lace up your shoes and head outside to run interval sessions. That way, you get physical and mental stimulation while still having fun.

Pairing your exercise routine with beloved hobbies can be an effective tactic in taking advantage of how our brains work: forming habits helps us to grow and progress. Investing time in finding activities that combine exercise and something that brings joy can be the best motivator to keep those fitness goals going over the long haul!

4. Get a Workout Buddy

An exercise partner or "workout buddy" can help you set and maintain your fitness goals. Not only can they provide encouragement and motivation, but working with someone who shares the same enthusiasm for exercise fosters a camaraderie that can make exercise not just doable but fun.

Introducing accountability into your workouts also helps keep things on track and provides structure and an extra push when your energy lags. Knowing that someone will be expecting you in the gym at a specific time creates both a responsibility and an incentive to complete a successful session—essential qualities if you strive to make exercise a habit.

When embarking on any health journey, having someone by your side makes it more enjoyable and, most importantly, sustainable.

5. Make Starting Easier

"If you can find a way to make getting started easier, then you can find a way to make building a habit easier." - James Clear, Author of Atomic Habits.

The best way to make exercise a habit is to start with an easy exercise that you can do even when you are not feeling like doing exercise or running low on motivation. Start with something so easy that you can't say no.

Focus on finding a way to get started by making starting easier rather than worrying about the whole workout. If you're struggling with motivation, just get in your workout outfit and put on your shoes, or place your yoga mat on the floor and just get started with a very easy exercise.

Making simple changes to your approach to exercise will not only cut down on time wasted but also increase motivation levels and ensure greater consistency when pursuing workout goals.

6. Be Disciplined

Discipline is essential in making exercise become a habit. It can be challenging if you haven't been active in a while, and the thought of getting into shape can seem overwhelming. Adopting a disciplined approach to exercise is how to make healthy habits stick long-term.

Some experts suggest that it takes approximately 21 days for an individual to form a new behavior from scratch. During this time, discipline plays a significant role in ensuring the new behavior becomes deeply ingrained so that we can stay active despite external stressors or life changes.

For example, when you wake up earlier and make plans to head out for a run or hit the gym before work each day, that commitment and dedication will often translate into a healthier lifestyle.

Likewise, setting yourself rules on how often you're going to exercise and how long your session will last each day equates to disciplined behavior; the predictable nature of following this schedule helps embed the act of exercise as part of your daily routine until the desired action becomes second nature. With some discipline, now could be the perfect time to start making exercise a habit!

The Bottom Line

Exercise does not have to feel forced or chore-like—it can become an enjoyable part of your routine. With the proper preparation and mental attitude, you can make exercise more than just a fleeting hobby; you can make it a healthy lifestyle change that lasts. Start small, listen to your body, and remember that consistency is key when forming any lasting habit.

Seek out accountability, set realistic 'measurable' goals, and reward yourself for progress made to stay motivated and disciplined. With these helpful hints in mind, may you find pleasure in moving your body and developing habits around fitness that last well into the future!

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Zak Mellor

I'm Zak Mellor, a fitness trainer dedicated to guiding you on your health and wellness journey. With a strong background in fitness, I share practical tips and in-depth reviews of the latest workout gear and routines.

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