Fitness Post – Developing the Exercise Habit

We are a creature of habits and these have been ingrained in us from the cradle. If we were fortunate our parents exercised in some form as we grew up and therefore the exercise habit was part of life. It is like any other habit, good or bad for our health, it has been taught to us through experience or through observation.

In my last post and many others before it I have extolled the importance of exercise for health…not just the physical benefits, but the psychological as well. Several experts in self development have pushed the idea that the biggest disease of today is our lack of self love. There are many factors that give them a strong case for this belief. If we look at our history as an example, in ancient times a youth within a small community would have more likely believed that he was important for the survival of his people. But because today we don’t have the immediate needs of survival and have many consumeristic myths and other influences there are these factors that make a youth feel inadequate. This is an important concept to understand if you wish to be a consistent exerciser as you age as it is tied up with your feelings of self worth.

So to develop the exercise habit that remains with you for the rest of your life, understand the following ideas – 

  • As I said in my last post, exercise is any activity that requires you to move. Not just formal exercise as all movement counts.
  • According to psychological statistics it takes 66 days to form any habit. The first third of time is where you have to consistently reinforce your needs to change it and this is when most people give up as they use only willpower to change it. The next third of the time the habit becomes easier, but in the third phase it becomes an instilled habit.
  • So if willpower is not enough to make your change, then be very organized with specific goals and a specific pathway of how you will achieve them. As I have said before, vague aims will give you vague results. The more precise your goals the more chance for success!
  • If you struggle to find your aims and pathways, find someone who can help you who knows what they are talking about.
  • Do something that you enjoy, but even more importantly, feels right for you specifically.
  • Have a way of measuring your progress.
  • Don’t concern yourself with your failures as they should be seen as a very important part of your overall success.
  • Whether you exercise alone or in a group is determined on your comfort levels in social situations. Your choice.

The key to your success in changing any habit, let alone the exercise habit is the deep down knowledge that you’re worth the effort!

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