How to Create an Exercise Habit

Exercising every once in a while is not enough to improve your overall health or to successfully lose weight. In order to experience optimum fitness it is essential to establish a regular exercise habit. Most of us do get some exercise on occasion. We are usually highly motivate in the beginning and then life happens. We get distracted or become so busy that we put exercise on the back burner. Exercise needs to be a part of our everyday lifestyles. It is as important for our health as eating properly and getting enough rest. Perhaps you need a little motivation to help keep you focused. Think of all the benefits you’ll reap from daily exercise, such as more energy, better sleep, and stress relief. Then follow the tips below which will help you stick with the exercise habit.



Participate in Activities You Enjoy



Remember how you used to love to dance or play a good game of racquetball? It’s time to rekindle your love affair with old hobbies that require you to be physically active. Did you play sports in your younger days? Maybe you could join a community sports team. Most YMCA facilities offer team sports such as basketball or softball for adults. Likewise, many small colleges offer leisure classes through the physical education department. You could take golf or tennis classes a few times a week. Why not try something new altogether? Experiment with different activities until you find a few that you really love. Signing up to get involved in sports is one of the best ways to establish an exercise habit. You’ll make new friends and build self-confidence at the same time that you’re improving your health and supporting your fitness goals.



Grab a Partner



It’s common to get a little nervous when starting a new exercise habit, especially joining a community sports team. Getting a friend to go with you may give you the extra support and motivation you need to get started. A spouse, co-worker or sibling might enjoy being your exercise partner. You can even use your dog to help you get a good workout. Just take the dog for longer walks more often and make sure you’re moving at a strong and steady pace.



Make Fitness Your Priority



If you make health and fitness your number one priority, it will be easier to maintain your exercise habit. In reality, no matter how busy we are we are never too busy to take care of our health. We all agree that family and work are important, but without taking care of your health, you won’t be able to take care of your family or be successful on the job, at least not for long. Think about all those people who literally work themselves do death. Don’t wait until you are morbidly obese or suffering from high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol to start focusing on your health. In other words, health is the one thing you should never take for granted. Establish an exercise habit and make it a permanent part of your lifestyle.



Find the Right Time



No matter how well you plan your exercise habit you will likely be interrupted at one time on another. Selecting the right time to exercise will help minimize disruptions so you can stay focused on your fitness plan. Early mornings are generally best for most people. Especially if you live in a household with others. Getting up an hour earlier than everyone else will give you private time to exercise. You could try quiet morning yoga or go jogging around the neighborhood before starting your day. If you’re not a morning person, you could probably establish a short workout routine during your lunch hour. Do you work near a park where you could take daily walks? If you work in a highrise you could walk the stairs multiple times throughout the day. Just make sure you keep a pair of comfortable shoes available at the office or in your car. You could also keep a pair of small hand weights in your desk to use while seated each time you have a brief break. If you need to walk around to communicate with co-workers or your job involves standing a lot, try wearing small ankle weights under your slacks.



Wear a Pedometer



Every step you take makes a difference. Walking is an exercise habit worth considering. Attach a pedometer to your clothing so you can log how much walking you do. Then find ways to increase your steps from one day to the next. For example, instead of sending an e-mail to the co-worker down the hall, get up and walk to her office. When you need to take a bathroom break use the restroom on the next floor and take the stairs to get there. Remember to park your car in the furthest parking spot at your destinations. Have fun watching the numbers on your pedometer.

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