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6 Ways to Make Exercise a Habit

Jan 9, 2014
You already know that exercising will make you happier, healthier, and help you live longer. Sure that sounds great, and you've been thinking about exercising more, but you're still not doing anything about it. You're stuck thinking about exercising. The best thing you can do is to stop thinking and start doing. Start moving more, more often. Starting is the first step towards creating an exercise habit. Don't worry about doing too much too soon. Creating a workout routine and sticking to it is easier than you think.

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Here's how to do it:

Be Selfish

Exercise, fitness and health are all personal things. You don't have to do a workout routine just because it is popular. You don't have to run just because your friends run. Fitness should be fun. Figure out what types of physical activity you enjoy and do that more often. It might be hiking or biking, strength training or yoga. You might enjoy all of those things, which is great. Now get out there and do them on a consistent basis.

Stay Simple

Being healthy and active does not require a gym membership, expensive equipment, a personal trainer or nutritional supplements. Don't over complicate exercise, keep things simple instead. You can do body-weight exercises and yoga anywhere, any time. Going for a walk or jog doesn't cost a thing. And if you did want some equipment, a set of dumbbells and a jump rope provide endless options for circuit training. If you don't need a gym you'll be able to eliminate the "I didn't make it to the gym" excuse.

Own It

You have to take control of your actions and decide to be healthy. If you don't, you're actively choosing to be unhealthy. No one wants that. So take responsibility for your health, nutrition and exercise habits. You have to own it. If you struggle with your decision making or find yourself skipping out on workouts enlist the help of friends and family. Join a running group or workout with a training partner. Challenge the entire family to go healthy and overhaul the foods that are in the house. Make the healthy choice an easy choice. Before you know it, healthy won't be a choice, it will become part of your lifestyle.

Check In

Schedule a time to sit down with yourself, a friend or family member to chat about your exercise habits. Maybe it's the first day of each month, or the last. "When" is not the important part as long as you make it happen. Come up with a checklist of questions: Have you been keeping up with your workouts? Are you making progress? How are you feeling? What could you do better or differently? What are you struggling with? This type of meeting will help keep you accountable. It will also help you assess your progress and keep you on the path towards achieving your goals.

Live It

Don't think of exercise as a chore. Instead think of it as essential to your survival. You can't live without food and you can't live without exercise. It's a necessity, one that will make your life better. Once you accept that as fact, fitting fitness in will be a habit not a hassle.

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Joe Vennare is an accomplished fitness entrepreneur who develops, instructs and writes about innovative fitness programs. He is the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete, Kettlebell Cardio, and Race Day Domination.



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