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Make Exercise a Habit

If you have to force yourself out the door every time you exercise, it’s time to take the hard work out of it. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy exercising.

1) Stick to a routine

“Even the most sedentary people can build up a physiological desire to exercise just by sticking to a consistent routine”, says Gareth Mole, head of sports psychology at Condor Performance. “For instance, you might start by deciding to walk every Friday morning at 7am. If something happens so you can’t walk, it’s better to wait until the following Friday to try again, otherwise it won’t stick.”

2) Choose an exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise

There are so many enjoyable forms of exercise available, choose something you will look forward to, something which is fun to do. Often activities involving others – Tai Chi, aerobics or a yoga class, a walking or exercise group or team sports can be really rewarding, not only for their physical benefits but also for the social contacts and chance to make new friends.

Golf, bush walking, biking, marathon running, swimming, gardening and bowls are all examples of different ways to exercise. You may soon find that the form of exercise you really enjoy will no longer feel like exercise.

3) Make exercise time fly.

Seeking out activities which are absorbing and require complex motor skills is a sure way to make exercise time fly. Surfing is one of the best, but golfing, skiing, swimming, yoga and many others are all good too. The concentration required for these activities directs you away from the physical aspects of the exercise.

Have you ever noticed how excited people look when they set off on a weekend of skiing, golfing, yoga or kayaking? You can be sure that their weekend flies by as they enjoy many hours of their chosen sport.

4) Include as much variety as possible

Be constantly on the lookout for something you could change about your exercise plan. Would your friends, family or workmates like to join you for a special session? Has a friend been begging you to play squash? Is it time to enrol in a different class you’ve long been interested in?

Variation from time to time, helps to keep up interest and enjoyment in exercising. But however you choose to do it, make exercise a habit.

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