With the holidays drawing to a close and the kids going back to school (do I hear a sigh of relief?), now is the perfect opportunity to start the new term on a healthy routine. If you have struggled in the past to make exercise a lasting healthy habit, fear no more! There are some easy things you can do to make it really stick this time.
1. Make exercise your ‘go to’ stress and tiredness buster.Here is the thing: exercise gives you a natural energy boost. So forget chocolate, wine, and other treats – save them for social occasions. Instead, opt for some exercise – a gym session, a run, some yoga, a walk around the block. Sometimes, 10 minutes is all it takes and you feel so much better – and all without the extra calories!
2. Stop thinking.
Once you have decided, get regular slot(s) booked into your diary and just do it. Classes are great as you can book them into your diary for the same day and time each week, and when you have paid for them you have an extra incentive to go.
3. The goal behind the goal.
You might have a goal that you want to achieve but what will really keep you going is the ‘goal behind the goal’. So think about what reaching our goal will allow you to do – what will you be able to do when you are fitter, have lost some weight, or gained some strength? It might be being able to keep up with the kids, lying on the beach with a new bikini, or signing up to that 5k with friends.
4. Stack habits
You are more likely to drop a habit if it is not fully integrated into your life. Stacking habits means you attach your new exercise habit to something else you like doing. Maybe you can listen to your favourite tune on the way to your workout, have a coffee with friends or fellow exercisers after, or walk past your fav shop for a wee nosey on your way home.
5. Let someone else do the planning for you.
Doing a workout on your own can be daunting. You might feel uncertain what exercises to do or how to build up your running. By joining a class or trying a Personal trainer, you can leave the planning to someone else, and all you need to do is to show up with your trainers and a bottle of water.
If it’s fun it’s more likely that you will come back. So put a smile on your face and and start releasing feel good hormones the moment you are exercising. Also, a good instructor will make a class feel more like a party than a boring workout. Try to find a group to exercise with, have a chat, have a laugh, and feel even more fab.
7. Enjoy the buzz.
Exercise releases endorphins and leaves you on a high. Enjoy this short term reward and keep coming back for more – and the longterm goals will take care of themselves.
There are only a couple of natural changing points for habits during the year – and the end of holidays is one of them. Why wait until New Year – make exercise a healthy habit now!
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