We would all like to be the healthiest and happiest versions of ourselves, but sometimes, trying to develop a fitness habit for life can be a touch tricky.
That is until you know that it only takes a few easy steps to turn a mission into something you hardly think twice about. See if you can put these simple tips into action and stick to your workouts consistently.
3 Ways to Develop a Fitness Habit for Life
1. Create a habit:
Consistency is one of the biggest factors when it comes to keeping workout motivation, so one of the first steps is to develop a habit. Hmmm, easier said than done? Time to play some mind games on ourselves… The Power of Habit explains that there’s a simple neurological loop at the core of every habit and it consists of three parts:
Trick your brain by simply positioning a workout calendar somewhere prominent, and every day that you do a fitness activity that moves you closer to your goal, mark the day off with a cross.
How it works:
- CUE: when there’s no cross on an upcoming day, your brain will register that it’s time to schedule something active.
- ROUTINE: is actually getting active in your week.
- REWARD: the physical act of crossing off another day of fitness (and seeing that chain of exercise grow) will make you glow with success, along with the brilliant endorphins!
2. Add variety:
Once you’ve got your ‘habit calendar’ set-up, the next step is to add variety to keep your fitness interest. This is especially good to keep workout motivation rife as the average gym-goer lasts around 8 weeks with the same routine.
Studies show that people taking part in a new form of exercise reported higher levels of positive feelings. They also expressed greater interest in regular workouts, rather than those who repeated the same old routines.
Trying a new exercise class or alternative workout method is a fab way to keep fitness motivation high and boredom at bay. A great way to do this is by using a flexible fitness membership, like MoveGB, to shake up your workouts and keep things fresh!
3. Stop thinking about your goals:
OK, so we want you to SMASH your goals, but sometimes long-term aims just don’t provide enough motivation to sustain habits. A mountain can seem intimidatingly tall, until you put your head down and start taking those first few steps!
Psychologists find that preventing disease, weight loss and general health improvements were not strong enough reasons to get people to stick to healthy habits. Instead, look at the short-term outcomes and immediate rewards, such as improved mood, lowered stress levels and increases of energy. Notice the positive and rewarding experience of a workout routine so it becomes something we choose to do, not something we need to do. And that’s what we’re all striving to achieve – a fitness habit that won’t ever be a chore.
So whip out the ‘habit calendar’, shake up routines with a wide variety of activities, and don’t focus too hard on the end goal. Remember: happiness is a journey, not a destination, so enjoy every sweaty second of it!