Of all the of the fitness challenges I have done, seen and given to my clients, making exercise a consistent part of one’s daily life has to be the most challenging. Like most new things we try in our lives they are exciting, fresh, maybe daunting or even scary.
I have read that it takes 2-3 weeks to form a habit. I believe time is only a small part of committing to the “exercise habit”. When we feel like skipping a day or even several, we must always go back to why we started in the first place. Over time these reasons may change as I know they have for me over the years. Having recently reached “the hill” of 40 I have begun to focus more on injury prevention, being strong for joint and bone health, and keeping my cardiovascular fitness in check due to family history issues.
If you are having trouble getting on the fitness wagon and staying on here are a few ways to keep your routine more permanent:
- Set a life goal for your fitness: Want to prevent diabetes, heart attack, osteoporosis, etc…? While losing a few pounds or looking good in your jeans are fine reasons to exercise, always have a higher goal. While we all want to look the best we can; our life span and how we feel take first place.
- Write it on your weekly schedule: When we write things down we are more apt to do them. Make an appt and stick to it.
- Do something you enjoy. This could be a tough one if you seem to truly dislike exercise. However, if you find the right activities I believe you will enjoy it. Our bodies were created to move…..don’t we all feel better after exercise even though we didn’t want to do it in the first place?
- Use your discipline for work for exercise. We all have days we don’t want to go to work, don’t want to cook dinner, do our finances, etc…, but I imagine almost always you persevere and go to work, cook dinner and pay your bills…hopefully 🙂 . Use that same discipline for your health. Without your health you won’t be able to do those other things very well anyway!
Summer is an easy time to let go of routine, and while I am all for time off for fun a little discipline for your health goes a long way. Take time to care for yourself and try your best to enjoy it.
On those days you don’t want to do it, remember WHY you started and then get moving :).