Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

10 Easy Ways to Make Exercise a Habit

Try these tricks to become one of the fitness faithful
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Let's face it: it's not all that difficult to start a fitness routine. After all, most of us have done it more than once.

The trouble, of course, comes with sticking with it. All too often, our initial enthusiasm and energy wanes, we get distracted by other things going on in our lives, or we don't think we're seeing results quickly enough -- and we throw in the towel.

Recommended Related to Women

Are You Prepared for the Worst?

By Nathaniel Benforado Disasters happen. Here's how to safeguard your home -- today.   Fire, flood, robbery -- you can lose everything in an instant, and then how do you get it all back? The first essential is homeowner's insurance. The other must-have is less obvious: a home inventory that documents all your possessions. This information will help you determine whether you have enough insurance coverage. In the event of a disaster, it'll allow you to file claims faster and more...

Read the Are You Prepared for the Worst? article > >

Yet many people do manage to hang in there, and would no sooner skip their regular workout than their morning shower. What's their secret?

A recent study by researcher Diane Klein, PhD, shed some light on the subject. Long-term exercisers (who had been working out for an average of 13 years) were asked to rank what motivated them to keep up with their regimes.

Their answers might surprise you. The exercisers were not as concerned with powerful pecs and awesome abs as they were with feeling good and being healthy.

Here's how the study participants ranked their motivators:

  • Fitness
  • Feelings of well-being
  • Pep and energy
  • Enjoyment of the exercise
  • Making exercise a priority
  • Sleeping better
  • Feeling alert
  • Being relaxed
  • Weight management
  • Appearance

So, once you have your priorities in the right place, how can you become one of the fitness faithful?

WebMD has compiled 10 tips for making fitness a habit in your life. To create the list, we sought the help of Klein, along with long-term fitness buff Roy Stevens and his wife, Wanda, who is transforming her hit-and-miss exercise schedule into an almost-daily habit.

1. Do a variety of activities you enjoy. And remember, there's no rule that says you have to go to a gym or buy equipment.

"We've shifted our perceptions from regimented exercise to physical activity," says Klein, assistant professor of exercise, sports and leisure studies, and director of gerontology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Having a variety of activities -- weight lifting, walking, running, tennis, cycling, aerobics classes -- will ensure that you can do something regardless of the weather or time of day.

2. Commit to another person. "The social aspect of exercise is important for me," says Wanda Stevens, a stay-at-home mom in Austin, Texas. "I'll let myself off, but if I've agreed to walk with a friend after dinner, I won't let them down."

Next Article:

What is your summer workout?