How to make exercise a daily habit

June 02, 2017 by Kathy Nellor

How many times have we heard that exercising just 30 minutes each day will improve your health? So then why don’t we do it? What is stopping us from getting up and moving — and sticking with it?

I am guilty myself. When life gets busy with kids, work and everyday stress, I put my exercise routine on the back burner. I think I’ll get back at it once I have more time or life slows down a bit. Before I know it, days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months, and the only habit formed is not adding movement into my life.

So how do we stick with it after our enthusiasm diminishes, we get distracted by other things or we don’t see the results we want quickly enough? We know there are people who manage to keep going strong.

A study of long-term exercisers — those who’ve been faithfully working at it for more than 13 years — were asked to list what motivates them to keep up their routine. Their lists included fitness, feelings of well-being, energy, sleeping better and being more relaxed. Not on their list: awesome abs or powerful pecs.

Find out what motivates you and then keep in mind these tips from WebMD that can help you make exercise a daily habit.

1. Do a variety of activities you enjoy.

2. Commit to another person to exercise together.

3. Make exercise a priority — it has to be non-negotiable.

4. Do it first thing in the morning or on your way home from work.

5. Exercise even when you’re tired.

6. Write it down.

7. Be aware of signs of progress, including sleeping better, thinking more clearly, having more energy and daily activity feeling easier.

8. Reward yourself. 

The tip that’s keeping me dedicated to a daily workout routine is, commit to another person. To help me stay devoted to a routine this year, two of my running friends and I are committed to running a combined 2,017 miles as a team by Dec. 31. They are counting on me to do my part of this journey, and I don’t want to let them down.

Whatever your goal, make achieving it a priority — no negotiations or excuses. Our lives are too short. We need to make our health and well-being a priority. The next time you say, “I don’t have time” to exercise, remember it’s about making time. Put your best foot forward and start today.

Tags:  exercise, daily habit, motivation, physical activity