Why it takes three weeks to establish a good habit and three seconds to establish a bad one is a mystery. These useful tips from Leith Honda Raleigh for establishing a regular exercise routine will help you establish a good one.
1. Set a Goal. Goals motivate. Goal setting is also a good habit, so you’re establishing two good habits in the time it usually takes to establish one. A great motivating goal is to sign up for a race or fun walk at least one month in the future (as opposed to one month in the past, which isn’t motivating at all).
2. Exercise at the same time every day. Make it part of your daily schedule. It doesn’t matter what time, although the most logical is immediately before or after work. Instead of inhaling a bag of M & Ms after a long day, inhale some fresh air at the track or at the park. You’ll be energized and feeling good in as little as twenty minutes.
3. Enlist a friend. It’s easy to blow off a day of exercise. It’s mean to blow off a friend. Family members are even more effective work out partners. They know where you live.
4. Rest. It sounds counterintuitive, but scheduling a rest day once per week is critical for establishing an exercise routine. Make sure it’s a planned day of rest, not a “gee, there’s a really good TV show on and I’m tired” day of rest.
5. Mix it up. One of the benefits of daily exercise is the chance to be alone and think. One of the negatives of daily exercise is being alone and thinking. If you’re getting bored, add variety. Swim instead of run. Check out the crowd at Gym A instead of Gym B. Switch up the music in your iPod. Dress like a leprechaun.
6. Dress for success. Wearing shoes not designed for exercise causes injuries and makes you look kind of silly. Wear clothes that allow for flexibility. You’re trying to establish a good habit. Establishing good habits makes you feel good. You should, therefore, wear clothes that make you feel good. Just because those oil-stained sweats and faded T-shirt are comfortable, doesn’t mean they will boost your self-esteem when you look in the mirror.
7. Start slow. Neophyte exercise enthusiasts often abandon years of sedentary living with a day-one Herculean performance, only to find themselves unable to do anything more strenuous than trimming nose hairs for the next six days. Establishing a routine requires consistent effort over time. Vomiting after the first workout or being unable to lower yourself into your car doesn’t accomplish anything.
8. Stay positive. A positive attitude will get you through the not so glamorous moments of exercise (like getting chased by a poodle, laughed at by a 12-year old for wearing a leprechaun suit, and lapped by an octogenarian).