4 Simple Ways to Make Working Out a Habit

Can you believe 2021 is almost over? We're busy making a list here for Christmas shopping and New Year's resolutions, but we don't want our list to go into our belly after Thanksgiving. So what do we do? Let's make a habit of doing whatever we want now. Many people want to know how to get motivated to exercise and build a workout habit that sticks. Of course, the desire to make exercise a routine and actually do it are two different things. But don't worry! Here are 4 simple tips to get yourself back on track and make exercise a habit.

Develop a Routine to Make it a Habit.

Before we start, let's define what a habit is. Habits are behaviors or an activity that you repeat over and over again. So, if you are not doing something consistently, then you don't have a routine, and it is not a habit. There are many ways to build new habits, and there is no right way to make exercise a habit. It's best to create a workout plan for each week and do it repeatedly until the body adapts to the new routine. If you can develop a routine that automatically makes the start of your workout, it will be much easier to follow through later on.

It's Okay to Start Ridiculously Small.

The worst thing that can happen when you try to make a habit is high expectations that will overwhelm you over the days. The best way to make working out a habit is to start with a workout so simple that you can do it even if you have little willpower and are not motivated to exercise. Indoor cycling is a great way to start small and slowly build up the intensity. Just 10 minutes a day will make a difference. But here's a better tip: To find the ultimate motivation, focus on getting started. Get your water bottle and put on your best sneakers; that's all you need to do to make today's workout a success.

Focus on the Habit First, Not Just Weight Loss.

If you exercise regularly, you will lose weight, but do not make it your only success trait. The fitter you get, the more muscle you gain and become more toned - muscles weigh more than fat, thus slowing down weight loss. A typical approach to making workouts a habit is to focus first on your determination and then on the results. Once you build the habit of training, you can find thousands of ways to improve yourself. Let's face reality: without the habit, every strategy is useless.

Reward Yourself After Each Accomplishment.

According to science, rewarding yourself along the way is a great method to maintain consistency. Whether you start a new or old exercise habit, treat yourself to something that makes you happy, like an episode of your favorite TV show, or buy your favorite items after training. Even if you miss a goal for a particular day or week, don't get too stressed and be easy on yourself. If you achieve your goals, then reward yourself. It's definitely a win-win situation!

Bonus Tip!

If you have made progress in developing a workout habit, but notice yourself stalling, take a break and ask yourself what is happening. Try to figure out why you're coming up short with your workouts. Maybe your body is in pain, your depression has flared up, or you are extremely stressed at work. The key is not to be afraid to make adjustments when needed. Whatever the case, you can still form a workout habit mentally, even if the specifics now look different from when you started.