I know not every person loves to exercise. But exercise doesn’t have to be a chore! With the right fitness program and the right motivation, exercise can become a habit that you actually look forward to doing. There are so many great reasons to workout, and many have been scientifically proven. For example, on the days you workout you are more creative, smarter, kinder, and you’ll sleep better that night. Exercise can help you live longer, it makes you healthier, it can prevent many types of diseases, it makes you happy, and the list goes on and on.
Why don’t some people like exercise?
People who don’t like exercise are usually doing it for the wrong reasons. If your reason to workout is to lose weight, then you will get disappointed and most likely quit. Humans love instant gratification, but losing weight is more of a long-term benefit. Some people approach exercise as a punishment for overeating or drinking too much. While other people may associate exercise with a negative experience from their childhood like getting chosen last for dodge ball or being pushed into a sport like tennis when they wanted to play ice hockey.
The first step in learning to like exercise is to do it for the right reasons. If your reason to exercise is to feel better, be smarter and more focused, be happier, sleep better, increase your energy, put a spark back into your sex life, and to have fun then you will be successful because exercise does provide these benefits. And, guess what? You’ll feel them right away! There’s your instant gratification.
How can I make exercise a habit?
The best way to start making exercise a habit is to exercise at the same time every day. I love to exercise. I can do it morning, afternoon, or evening but it is already a habit for me. Choose a time that is realistic. Whether that is first thing in the morning before kids wake up or directly after work, it is important to find a time when you can’t be interrupted. I know things come up, but you and your health should be a priority. One of the many reasons why I like group classes or personal training session is that you are not holding your phone in your hand while working out which minimizes distractions and you get a better workout. The environment where you workout should be a place that is convenient and a place that you find enjoyable. Likewise, you should enjoy the people that you see while exercising.
Another great way to make it a habit is to set triggers to remind you to exercise. You can set your workout clothes out the night before so that when you see them, it is a reminder that you planned on going to the club today. Another idea is to set an alarm on your phone for the time to go to the club or meet your trainer. These things will create triggers in your brain to workout and thus creating the habit.
How do I know what type of exercise to do?
Think back to when you were a kid. What types of movement did you do? Was it a sport, riding your bike, playing on the jungle gym, dance, running? I loved riding my bike as a kid; I would ride it over to my friends house, and we ride our bikes around the neighborhood for hours! Hello, exercise! But as a kid, we didn’t think of it like that. I believe that is one of the many reasons I like indoor cycling. Maybe there was a sport you loved to play as a kid; find the adult version. If you loved to dance, then try Zumba.
The key is to try various types of exercises and mix it up, so you don’t get bored. Find a workout that when you are done, you think to yourself, wow I did that! Feel empowered! Find something that you can do. Keep trying different workouts till you find the one or better yet two you like.
I teach Pilates and fitness to people of all levels and abilities. We find out what they like and set a goal. Together, we customize a program that works, challenges them, and encourages them!
Improving your physical well-being will improve your mental well-being, your relationships, and makes you feel good about yourself. Creating an exercise habit is the perfect way to achieve these benefits.