Did you know that almost 80% of Americans do not get the recommended amount of daily exercise? One of the best strategies to getting started and maintaining an exercise program is by making it a habit. The easiest way to initiate a new habit is by integrating small changes into your daily life. When you make positive choices repeatedly, they become ingrained in your lifestyle and you no longer have to convince yourself to engage in healthy behaviors. Research suggests that it takes about 66 days to form a new habit. Get started with these five proven habits that will help you maintain a regular workout routine.
- Set goals – Setting goals had been demonstrated to improve people’s ability to stick with a workout routine. Internal goals such as exercise enjoyment or increase in energy are more effective than external goals such as physique or recognition from others in maintaining an exercise habit over time.
- Reward yourself – Rewarding yourself for reaching exercise milestones is a great way to stay motivated. Make sure to keep the rewards within your healthy behavior plan, such as purchasing a new piece of workout gear for every 5 pounds of weight loss.
- Mix up your activities – Keeping your workout plan fresh by integrating different types of physical activity reduces boredom and increases the likelihood of maintaining an exercise habit. Try mixing up the exercises themselves or even just the location you perform them in to add more interest to your daily routine.
- Track your progress – Tracking your long-term progress with either a fitness device or manually helps keep you focused and headed in the right direction. People are more motivated when they can visually see where they started and how far they have come, which increases the chances of sticking with a workout plan.
- Recruit friends and family – Having support from the important people in your life can be one of the most significant factors in determining your success with maintaining a habit. Whether it’s a workout buddy or someone who encourages you along the way, social support can go a long way in your wellness journey.