As we approach Summer, the thought of putting on a Swimming Costume might scare you (or others, ha!). That said, the most important reason for making exercise part of our everyday life is so that we are happy and healthy.
The golden question is “How?”. How do we make that transition?
- Set a Time – Decide whether you’re more likely to stick with it in the morning, afternoon or evening and stick to that time. Be Honest with yourself! If you are not a morning person, you won’t do well doing morning workouts. Don’t commit to something that you will not honour.
- Send a Reminder – Whether you send yourself a reminder via Email, SMS or even get a friend to send a reminder, just set that reminder. It will help to focus your day and ensure that you make exercise a priority.
- Start Small – When I start exercising, I always start with lots of energy and enthusiasm. However, doing too much will lead to you quitting your habit. When you first try to make exercise a daily habit, your body won’t be used to that kind of stress. The key is to start small. Nothing hard. Even 10-15 minutes is fine at first, if you’re just starting out. Get out there, get your body used to daily exercise and form that habit.
- Make it Fun – You have tried all types of classes, exercise machines and videos and you usually quit before you have really started. The question is why? Well, for me, it has to be at least a little fun. If it is fun, you will look forward to it and not try and avoid it. Enjoy the scenery, the fresh morning air, the beautiful sky as the sun rises, the quiet time of solitude and contemplation. An mp3 player with some great music also helps.
- Prepare – The fewer obstacles and the less friction there is in forming your new habit, the more likely you are to be successful. Prepare everything ahead of time, whether it is clothes, gear, machines or friends. Make sure you are ready to GO!
- Just GO – Forming a new habit is always difficult, starting is the hardest. The key here is to just GO! Get started, get out the door. It does not matter how far or for how long, just begin!
- Mix it up a little – Try different things, use different muscles and mix it up a little. It will keep things interesting. You may wish to swim one day, run another, go to dance class or do some yoga. Trying things will help you to maintain the habit and prevent it becoming boring.
Remember, it takes at least 2 weeks to form a habit, so don’t skip a day (unless you do intense workouts and it’s your rest day). If you do, it will be harder to form the habit.