Fitness: Getting and Staying Active - Staying Active
Turning physical activity into a habit
Most people don't think about being active or inactive
as a habit. But it is. And habits are affected by many things, including our work
schedule, our home life, and our social life. When something becomes a habit,
we don't think about it much—we just do it, like brushing our
The key to staying active is to make fitness a habit—something that you just do.
It might take a long time for you to form a habit. So start small, and keep
doing an activity until you no longer think about it as something "extra" that you have
When you slip up, don't get mad at yourself or feel guilty. Figure out
what happened and how to keep it from happening again. Get right back into your
physical activity routine, and don't look back.
- Fitness: Making It a Habit
Maintaining the lifestyle
Many of the
good things about being active, such as having
more energy and being in a better mood, happen
soon after you become more active. But some of the most important health
benefits have to do with being active over many years. If you stop being
active, you lose the fitness you achieved. Being consistent makes the most
sense for your health.
To help make physical activity a long-term
- Set goals. Develop and follow a specific
- Make it a habit. Turn physical activity into a
normal, pleasant, and routine part of your life.
- Get the support of friends and family.
- Expand your fitness activities through coaching,
competition, and cross-training.
- Add variety to your fitness program. Change the place,
activity, and time.
- Don't let
reasons such as lack of time or bad weather slow you
- Schedule your activity for times that
you're likely to keep doing it. If you don't have time for
one 30-minute walk, break it up into three 10-minute walks.
- Fitness: Staying Active When You Have Young Children
- Stress Management: Managing Your Time
- Quick Tips: Having Enough Energy to Stay Active
- Quick Tips: Staying Active in Cold Weather
- Quick Tips: Staying Active in Hot Weather