*Blog post in audio form in case you'd rather listen:)
But how do you become that person who exercises regularly?
We know two things about exercise:
So today I’m going to explain how you can make exercising a habit by taking small steps.
You probably already know that exercising is great for you. I mean, that’s why you’re here, right? So you can make exercising a routine to improve your health.But exercising is so much more than losing weight or getting a six-pack. ( Related: Having A six pack doesn't matter)
Here are some other effects that exercising has on your body, according to the TIME article, “The New Science of Exercise.”
People tend to treat exercise like a diet—it starts off really well, you’re at the gym every day, but then life starts to get in the way, you get busy, and go back to your old habits. To make exercising a habit, you need to look at it with a long-term mindset, not a dieting mindset. A long-term mindset means that this is something you can do every day. In other words, something small and achievable—a small step.
You’re more likely to reach your goal if you have a clear plan of what you need to accomplish each day.
Do you actually have the time to do this? Can you stick with it long-term?
You don’t have to workout for an hour or burn a certain amount of calories. Not only can it be unhealthy to overwork your body, but it’s unrealistic for you to maintain this routine. Have Five Minutes? Check out these Workouts
Start small. It can be as simple as going for a walk around the block. You can always add on from there.
How is exercising going to become part of your daily routine? What’s the best time for you to exercise?
With my work schedule, I leave home at 7 and don’t get home until 6 every day. When I finally get home, I’m starving and I just want dinner. It wouldn’t fit into my lifestyle (nor would it be realistic) to exercise when I got home. I’ve learned that it works much better for me to get up earlier in the morning and exercise before I go to work.
These tips will ensure that you follow through with your small step every day.
If it’s scheduled into your day and a part of your to-do list, you’re more likely to actually do it.
Write it in your planner or on your daily to-do list. Have an alarm go off at a certain time. Have some sort of reminder to do your small step each day.
Repetition is the best way to create a habit. By exercising at the same time every day, it’ll become a routine that’s part of your day.
Many people have a routine for when they eat. I have breakfast around 7, lunch around noon, and dinner around 6. Fit exercise into your day the same way.
When you don’t have a certain time that you exercise, you’re more likely to put it off. And all of a sudden, it’s time for bed; then you move onto another day where you put off exercising again.
Planning will help you stick with your exercise routine.
For me to have the time (and energy) to exercise in the morning, I need a workout schedule to follow, my lunch needs to be prepared the night before, and I have to go to bed on time. Otherwise, I’ll hit the snooze button or find another excuse to skip out on my exercise.
If you try and do too much at once, you’ll become overwhelmed and give up. Then you’re not working out at all. Alternatively, by doing something small—even if it doesn’t feel like much—you’re creating a healthy habit.
It’s much easier to add on 5 minutes to your workout once you have an exercise routine established than to go from not working out, to trying to workout for 30 minutes every day.
What’s your small-step action plan for making exercise a habit? Comment below—it’ll hold you more accountable!
Kaitlyn is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and nutrition counselor helping people who are fed up with dieting and confusing nutrition information, as well as those who are struggling with body image by sharing simple health tips and debunking nutrition myths so that, together, we can enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Check out her site here Download her FREE Ebook Here. Follow her on social media: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.