Make Exercise a Habit

17 Feb 2021

Sometimes the busyness of life gets in the way of our fitness goals. If your good exercise habits have fallen to the wayside or you want to lift your workout, here’s how you can stay on track.

It is important during busy times in our lives to look after our health and wellbeing and to consider the role of physical activity in managing various health risks. Exercise is a mainstay in preventative management of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Physical activity is also essential for the development of the brain. Increased oxygen while exercising can boost concentration, memory and mood, helping to fight stress, anxiety and depression associated with uncertainty.

How To Build Good Habits

There can be a lot of different ways to build a good exercise habit. Try a few of the strategies listed below first.

Start Small

Choose one exercise to start with and set aside five minutes in the day to do it. When you’re ready, add another exercise or two and expand the time you set aside to do it. Try and aim for at least 30 minutes a day, which is the recommended daily amount for adults.

Celebrate Success

It can be really good to write down or mark off on a diary or calendar every time you do exercise. That way you can track how many days in a row and for how long you exercised for. Celebrate the small things as well as the big things. Celebrate if you exercise for five more minutes one day or if you exercise every day of the week for the first time. Giving yourself this positive reinforcement goes a long way towards helping you stay motivated and to continue improving.

Make It Enjoyable

When thinking about what kind of exercise you want to do, it is always important to make sure it will be something you enjoy. That way, it makes it easier to incorporate it into your daily routine and make it into a habit. Try dancing to your favourite music or going for a walk down to the park on a sunny day. 

Set Yourself a Goal

Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated without a goal in mind. If you’re having trouble setting a goal and sticking to it, try making it a SMART goal. For example, 'I want to be able to squat 15 times by the end of next week'.

Time Based

If you need advice about what exercises will work for you and how to get the most out of your fitness programme, one of our qualified Personal Trainers
can help you. Book today.

Getting Back to the Gym

If you’ve got out of the habit of exercise, here’s some tips for returning to the gym:

Choose Your Time

Pick the days and times that will work best for you and make a note where you will see it often. If you feel short on time, start with just one or two days a week.

Share with a Friend

It can be good to tell a friend that you’re planning on going back to the gym. Share with someone who will help keep you motivated and provide encouragement.

Bring a Buddy

For added motivation see if a friend wants to come with you to the gym. You can support each other in starting up again and help keep each other motivated.

Join Like Minds

If you’re struggling to find a gym buddy (not everyone is as dedicated as you!), join a group fitness class and get motivated by the energy and vibe of other liked‐minded people. Or see one of our Personal Trainers.

Ease Into It

Don’t overdo it. Start with simple exercises and adjust the load to fit with the level you’re at now, not the level you may have been at before. You don’t want to risk injuring yourself and having to take more time off. Be patient and work gradually towards your goals.

No Pain, No Gain

You may notice that if you haven’t been working out for a while, that you might feel a little stiff and sore the next day or even the day after. The best way to prevent soreness and injury during a workout is to make sure you warm up beforehand, and always do some full‐body stretching before and after a workout.

 If you still feel a little sore afterwards, see one of our Massage Therapists,
or a Physiotherapist for more stubborn pains.

In summary, regular exercise is an important part of our health and wellbeing. Making exercise a habit in your life again can seem difficult, but putting some simple strategies in place can make it achievable and keep you motivated.

If you need some help getting back into exercise, one of our Habit Health Personal Trainers will be happy to help. Book today.

Emma Hart is a Senior Physiotherapist
at Habit Health in Kapiti
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Nelson, C. and Cromwell, S., 2016. Benefits Of Exercise On Mind Function. DigitalCommons@USU. [Accessed 7 May 2020].