Exercise as a daily habit

The problem with trying to make exercise a habit is that you usually try to exercise 3 or 4 times a week … and that makes creating a new exercise habit difficult. 

Exercising every day is more likely to result in a habit — something that becomes almost automatic, and much easier, instead of a constant struggle.

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Decide whether you’re more likely to stick with it in the morning or lunchtime or evening, and stick with that time

If you don’t set a time, you’re more likely to put it off until you have more time or energy, and then put it off until the next day. Soon, it’s not a habit at all.

There are a number of ways to send yourself an email or text reminder, so you’ll never forget. 

Then, when you get the reminder, do it right away. Don’t brook any delays.

When you first try to make exercise a daily habit, chances are, your body won’t be used to that kind of stress. 

The key: only do 20 minutes in the beginning, and do it nice and easy. Nothing hard. Even 10-15 minutes is fine at first if you’re just starting out. 

  • Wait at least two weeks before starting to increase — that’s the minimum your body needs to adjust. 
  • Once it begins to feel way too easy, you can start increasing the length of your workouts, to 30 and then 40 minutes, and eventually up to an hour.
  • Once you do that, you can gradually increase the intensity — running faster or harder, for example.
Make it pleasurable
Go slowly, enjoy the scenery, the fresh morning air, the beautiful sky as the sun rises, the quiet time of solitude and contemplation. 

An mp3 player with some great music helps.

If you have to not only wake up early but get a bunch of gear together while half-awake, you might just want to go back into bed. 

But if you lay out your workout clothes and shoes and watch and mp3 player, or whatever you need for your exercise, you’ll be ready to go with no friction at all.

Get your running shoes on and get out the door. 

Don’t worry about how long you have to go or how hard it will be. Just get out and get started. Once you've done that, it’s a piece of cake.

Instead of doing one type of exercise every single day, do a variety to make it more interesting. 

What that means is that you're not pounding the same muscles, every day. That gives them a chance to recover because without recovery, you’re just breaking your muscles down over and over.

Recovery is very important. Which is why you need to give your body a chance to rest. 

It’s good to have one day of rest, where you’re not doing the same exercises as the other six days. 

Consistency is key, so try not to skip a single day. If you do, don’t feel bad.

Just start over again, and try to identify the obstacle that led to your skipping a day and prepare for it this time.

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