4 Simple Ways to Make Exercise a Habit
Do you struggle figuring out how to make exercise a habit?
Maybe you have a chaotic schedule where you can’t find time to even think about working out? Or you might just be lacking the motivation to keep up your exercise regime week-to-week.
Whatever type of lifestyle you lead – it’s easy to overcome all of your obstacles when it comes to exercising regularly. And you can get started with this article!
As the go-to weight loss supplement for sports pros and elite athletes worldwide, we at Instant Knockout know a thing or two about sticking to your workout plan.
And it all starts with making working out a part of your life for good… But how?
It’s about adjusting your routine so you don’t even need to think about it – you just do it.
So, we’ve put together our top 4 simple ways how to make exercise a habit.
How To Make a Habit?
Before we go into the 4 ways you can make exercise a habit, we thought we’d give you a little bit of background on the psychology behind forming habits.
Let’s start with what a habit is. One study described habits as “actions triggered automatically in response to contextual cues” such as washing your hands after using the toilet. In short, it’s a subconscious reaction to another action. Habits are great for your cognitive performance too, as they free up space in your brain to think about other things.
Research shows that developing a new habit can take anywhere between 18 and 254 days. Studies have also revealed that making certain behaviors automatic could take longer for some people than others, with habits like drinking a glass of water at breakfast proving easier to adopt than doing 50 sit-ups every day.
So, let’s get to the nitty gritty – how do you make a habit stick easily?
The answer isn’t simple, but one way is to link your new habit to a pre-existing one. By doing this, the habit feels more natural and fits into your life easier. It’s also important that you associate the new habit with feelings of positivity to ensure you stick to it.
Based on the research, we’ve ranked 4 simple tips for you to follow that should make sticking to your exercise routine an automatic response – rather than a struggle.
4 ways to make exercise a habit
- Set a schedule – and stick to it
Based on the psychological research, we believe the first step to making exercise a habit should be creating a workout routine that fits into your current lifestyle. This will mean you can set aside the time and dedicate it to doing exercise – rather than it being deprioritized for something else. Of course there may be obstacles – like a last minute appointment or getting sick – which could interfere with your plan. This is understandable. But the mere action of subconsciously knowing that you have your workout regime nestled into your daily routine should encourage you to stick to it or rearrange it to a more suitable time.
Including exercise into your pre-existing schedule means you will be attaching it to habits you already do. For instance, if you plan to work out in the morning, you know you have only a certain amount of time to fit it in before you start work. So, reassess when you get up in the morning to accommodate for exercising.
The other important thing about habits is that they form quicker if they are repeated. If you make a schedule with exercise featuring 3 or 4 times a week on the same days at the same time, it’s more likely to feel natural quicker.
It may be tough to stick to it at the beginning – especially if you have a jam-packed schedule already – but putting the effort in from the start and following the plan will help the habit form faster.
- Have more than one goal
If you’re an Instant Knockout Cut customer, you’re probably used to setting goals like losing weight or more specific ones like getting a six-pack.
Whilst these big goals are great ways to kickstart motivation, sometimes it’s good to have mini goals along the way. Say if you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, for example, or you’ve been doing ab workouts for months but have still not achieved a shredded torso – it can be demoralizing along your journey.
You should set small goals – daily, weekly and monthly – to make that journey to your ultimate goal a little bit more palatable.
One idea could be competing with yourself to beat your last score.
- Achieve quicker minutes per mile in cardio
- Add more weights to your strength training
- Include an extra round of squats to your circuits
Whatever workout you’re doing, try to up the ante every time.
By doing this, you’ll still be on the road to achieving your ultimate goal but the competitive spirit will fire up motivation and distract you from feeling so overwhelmed you give up.
Remember, as we mentioned before, actions that are repeated form quicker habits. And having mini goals means you’re more likely to stick to your exercise regime day-to-day so you can achieve them.
- Don’t scare yourself with too high expectations
As we said earlier, forming habits is much easier when they’re associated with feeling good. After all, you’re less likely to stick to doing something if you hate it.
We’ve all seen our social feeds on the 1st of January spammed with hundreds of selfies in the gym, pictures of grilled salmon and broccoli dinner, and motivational memes about getting fit and healthy. But, sure enough, after a few weeks many people have jumped off the fitness bandwagon and back into their pre-New Year routines of intermittent takeaways and opting for Netflix rather than a Friday night run.
Why is this?
Research shows that pain and pleasure are intrinsically linked to exercise. Depending how fit you are, you may start off finding the act of exercising really difficult. The motivation to push through the pain is that afterwards your body releases a whole load of chemicals known as endorphins. These endorphins essentially sedate the pain and can reduce stress, boost your mood and even improve sleep .
But the key is to not set the bar too high in the first place.
It can be tempting to push yourself extremely hard in the first few weeks of a new training regime – whatever fitness level you’re at. The trick is not to push yourself so far that the pain out ways the endorphins afterwards.
So, be realistic with your workout regime. Start small and work your way up the levels in achievable steps. Not sure where to start? We recommend you check out our guide on the best fat-burning exercises.
Doing this will ensure you’re enjoying it and make it so much easier to make exercise a habit.
- Reward milestones
This final tip is a really important one. If you’re like many of our customers at Instant Knockout Cut, you’ll be committed to achieving more with your fitness – and your physique – every time you work out.
Whilst that inner motivation to keep pushing yourself to the next level is great, sometimes you need to take a step back and acknowledge how far you’ve come.
As we’ve touched on throughout, forming a habit can be made so much easier when the habit is associated with positivity. With that in mind, if you make a conscious effort to celebrate what you’ve achieved intermittently since you started on your fitness journey, you’ll naturally feel a sense of accomplishment.
No matter how small, you need to celebrate your results and allow yourself a treat to commemorate each milestone.
Why not try:
- Buying some new gym gear
- Having a meal out with friends or family
- Treating yourself to a guilty pleasure food or drink (at a moderate level – no bingeing on pizzas!)
- Sharing your achievements with friends or family
- Taking the night off the gym to spend time with friends instead
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you really make a fuss of yourself. This way, when it comes to exercising you’ll have happiness and achievement associated with working out, cementing it as a feel-good habit you can stick to.
The bottom line
In the end, forming a habit can be a tricky business – especially when it comes to working out. You have to put the effort in from your side to see the rewards of making exercise a habit.
These 4 tips will help get you on your way to treating exercise as part of your daily routine – and not something you need to think about fitting in.
Still not sure how to make exercise a habit? Maybe Instant Knockout Cut can help.
Endorsed by sports pros and champion athletes, Instant Knockout Cut has become a go-to training partner for thousands across the globe looking to pump-up workouts, shred fat and achieve their very own pro athlete physique.
The science-backed formula is packed with thermogenics to accelerate fat burning, ‘Smart Caffeine’ energy to boost your motivation to exercise and a solid hunger control to help you stick to your daily calorie allowance.
For the best results, you must take Instant Knockout Cut every day. This repetition, as we’ve seen, will eventually make taking Cut a habit. Then all you have to do is associate exercise with taking Cut in order to make exercising a habit too.
We’ve made this simple. Many ingredients in Cut are designed to optimize your body’s training potential, by enhancing your endurance, energy and mood to make working out easier and more enjoyable.
Because Instant Knockout Cut will help you feel great in the gym, you’ll naturally form that positive association with exercise and make exercise a habit quicker.