Regular exercise is a habit known for promoting optimal health. Maybe you hate him or maybe you love him. But, it is the most valuable habit you can have in your life.
If you already exercise constantly, you definitely know what I mean. But if you have not yet been very active in your daily routine, in this article I have 5 infallible steps for you to start with the habit of exercising and turning it into a real permanent habit.
Also, find out why exercise can be a recipe for more than just keeping the doctor away. Make up your mind to do something good for yourself and read on.
“In general, people who exercise, begin to eat better and become more productive. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less often and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a key habit that triggers widespread change. ” -Charles Duhlig
Let’s face it: it’s not that difficult to start an exercise routine. After all, most of us have tried more than once.
The problem, of course, comes with doing it steadily, ie making it a habit.
Very often, your initial enthusiasm evaporates and your energy gradually diminishes; you are distracted by other things going on in your life, or maybe you do not get to see results fast enough and suddenly bam! You throw the towel.
I do not want to lie to you, exercise can be uncomfortable at first. And that’s the main reason why it costs so much to start. Even if you already have your established exercise routine, you may feel some resistance to exercise some days.
The good news is that all your effort is well rewarded. Exercise affects many areas of your life (without realizing it). You just have to focus on building the habit of exercising and the benefits will fall from the sky.
Think about this: 4 workouts of 1 hour per week represent only 2.4% of all our time. In perspective that is very little investment in exchange for so many benefits.
WHO (World Health Organization) recommends at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity.
And to start having the habit of exercising you can start with much less of this time.
If you look good and be healthier, you are not convinced. Below I have many of the benefits you get when you exercise.
Exercises to do at Home to Strengthen Your Muscles and Your Mind
Plus build a strong body and look good. The benefits of exercises to do at home will reach every corner of your life. Even where you least expect it.
Let me explain how this was discovered.
In the mid-2000s, two Australian researchers conducted a series of experiments to see if willpower can be strengthened over time (something like a muscle).
In their first study, published in 2006, participants followed an exercise program 3 times a week. This program lasted 2 months .
As expected, after only two months participants strengthened their muscles and cardiovascular system. Most managed to reach their ideal weight and increase their muscle mass.
But what it was what happened to his mental strength?
To test their willpower, all participants in addition to doing their exercise routine, had to decipher a mental game. But before you start the game, they were asked to reply to certain questions that exhausted their mental energy .
People usually make a good score in this mental game, but when done immediately after exhausting mental energy, it is normal to make more mistakes and give up faster.
Surprisingly after a while you exercise, participants improved their performance on this test (even with empty mental energy). It seemed that they improved their constancy because they tried again and again to decipher the game and surrender less.
This led researchers to conclude that exercise can increase your willpower.
That is, that the more you exercise, you strengthen your muscles but also train your willpower (making it tougher each time).
But that is not all. Because then things get really interesting.
The participants experienced a great change in their life. To prove this, they were asked to inform researchers about some aspects of their daily routine such as: alcohol, tobacco, junk food, TV hours, personal finances, emotions, personal relationships, etc.
Something incredible happened:
In all these categories, there was a healthy improvement.
How Can I Start Exercising at Home?
Surely you also want to improve every corner of your daily life. You know that exercise is the key habit to start this positive chain in your life.
I have the easiest solution for you. Here are 5 steps and tips for starting exercise at home and setting it as a habit:
1. Start Exercising With A Short And Achievable Goal That You Can Do Each Day
When you start out with the habit of exercising, the first thing you should take into account is to start with what you can and be honest with yourself.
You probably did exercise at some point in your life and for some reason (work, family, homework, etc.) you let it go and now it’s time to take it back, so this step also applies to you.
Be realistic with yourself and set a short and achievable goal
It is useless to start on top and leave it again a week later. Even if you can only exercise at home, you have to set yourself a goal.
Write that goal in the present tense and as specific as you can with what you’ll be doing .
” In the afternoon I do strength training for 10 minutes”
If you know the exact time and especially where I’ll be doing even better (also it has to be a realistic and accessible place for you).
” At 5:00 pm I do strength training for 10 minutes in the park around the corner”
You can even be more and more specific, like this:
” At 5:00 pm I do strength training (3 blocks of 20 repetitions: push –ups and sit –ups), for a total of 10 minutes in the park around the corner”
Retains that sheet, because it will serve as a reminder. Which brings us to the next step.
2. Identify An Activity (Which Is Already A Habit) As A Reminder To Do Your Exercise Routine
EYE: It is important not to skip this step.
Surely you are thinking that a reminder will not be necessary, you could never forget to make that short goal that you proposed. But you’re wrong.
The function of a reminder is not simply to “not forget”, it is also a strong motivator. Generates a certain psychological pressure, and is key to forming the habit.
Your reminder may be one or many. For example: the sheet of paper you just wrote in the previous point, an alarm on your cell phone, a note on your calendar, your sports shoes on the front door, and so on.
A powerful reminder is a prior activity that either a habit in your routine.
I explain better, it is easier for you to achieve your goal successfully if you propose to exercise just after an activity that is already a habit, such as: after brushing my teeth, after breakfast in the morning, after my series, after To bed the children, etc.
Once you choose a habit as a reminder you have to write it down and complete your exercise plan.
For example: ” After my favorite show I do strength training for 10 minutes in the park around the corner”
The goal is to have a plan of action to follow. What helps you achieve your purpose (scientifically proven).
A British study of 2002 found that when participants formulated a plan on exactly when and where they would exercise had more than 90% probability of achieving , compared to only 38% of those who had not planned ahead.
If you write it you have 90% chance of achieving it
If you are interested to know more, read this article about effective reminders.
3. Find A Positive Reward Just After Exercising
Actually the exercise itself has to be your reward. Simply because of the many benefits you already know how to look good and feel better. In addition to natural form certain substances are produced that generate pleasure and well-being.
However, to form the habit is necessary to have an immediate reward.
But be careful! The rewards trick can be your best ally or your worst enemy. I explain why:
If you can choose a reward for your effort that is aligned with your goals, it will be a motivation for forming the habit.
You can imagine what would happen if it were the opposite.
If for example your reward is to eat a bar of chocolate after that exhausting workout. Surely the expected results of the exercise will not be the ones you’re looking for right?
In many cases, the main reason to prefer unhealthy foods is because of something known as “the psychology of reward “. Which is much more common in beginners who are not intrinsically motivated by sport and can choose to reward themselves with food that without exercise they would not have eaten.
This stage of the “psychology of reward ” is also temporary. Once we have the habit of exercise, this becomes your own reward.
A positive reward is one that will help you become more disciplined and think about how good you feel when you’ve finished a workout .
Here are some examples of positive and healthy rewards :
Relaxing warm shower
Use a soap with an aroma that you like
Cold water with a hint of lemon
A stretch with minutes of relaxation
Fresh seasonal fruit
An aromatic candle
Listen to your favorite song
4. Download Your Goal Chain And Keep A Daily Log Of Your Progress
All humans are terrible remembering. We are deceived by our unconscious and we tend to over-estimate the exercise we do and when we do it.
To not exaggerate and really see the progress you’ve made, you have to record it in writing. This also becomes a strong motivator.
For that, I propose to use the chain of goals. Every day you must register whether or not did your goal of exercise (the plan you wrote).
The goal is not to break the chain of your goal accomplished. If you do, exercise will become a habit in your life almost without realizing it.
If you do not achieve your goal someday, it is important to write down why you failed. This way you can identify the main reasons that prevent you from exercising and find the best way to solve them.
EYE: Remember to take a day off a week. This will not impair the formation of habit and fills you with energy ( as long as you start back the next day without fail).
5. Make Your Exercise Routine A Fun Habit
Change your perspective and start exercising, seeing it as a time to have fun, to relieve stress and to disconnect. Stop seeing it as a Chinese torture!
Maybe you’ve already tried the spinning or zumba class and hated it, or maybe you’ve hurt yourself on your first day of weights. But, that does not mean that all forms of exercise are the same.
There are thousands of ways to move your body. Find the one that best suits your lifestyle and that forces you to be active. For example: take salsa lessons, go cycling or rollerblading, adopt a dog and go out to play, practice seasonal sports, etc.
The aim is that exercise becomes a funny habit that makes you happier.
Now you know how to invest in your health by following these steps and starting to exercise.
Do not wait any longer, start today to form the habit of exercising and enjoy the benefits forever.