10 Easy Ways to Make Exercise a Habit
Try these tricks to become one of the fitness faithful
6. Exercise even when you're "too tired." Chances are, you'll
feel better after exercising.
"It energizes us," says Klein. "You breathe deeply, and your
body makes better use of the oxygen exchange. You'll get an exercise-induced
euphoria during the activity and for some time after."
If Wanda Stevens thinks she is too tired to get up and exercise, Roy shows
her no sympathy. "She gets mad, but then she feels better afterwards,"
7. Log your activity. Write down the things that are important to
you. It could be how much time you exercise each day, how many steps you
walked, how far you ran or cycled, what you weighed, etc.
Some people make a game of it. You may have heard of runners calculating the
miles it would take to run from their homes to Boston (home of the famous
marathon), figuring how far they run in an average week and setting a target
date for "arriving" in Boston.
8. Be aware of all the indicators of progress. It's great when your
clothes fit better and you can lift heavier weights or work out longer without
But there are a slew of other progress indicators, such as:
- Getting a good night's sleep.
- Thinking more clearly.
- Having more energy.
- Realizing your muscles aren't screaming after you've helped a friend move
- Seeing your resting heart rate drop over time.
- Hearing your doctor congratulate you on improved cholesterol, blood
pressure, bone density, triglycerides, and blood sugars.
9. Walk -- with a pedometer (or a dog). "If you enjoy walking and
haven't exercised for awhile, 10 minutes three times a day will give you 30
minutes," says Klein.
Use a pedometer, and work up to at least 10,000 steps a day. "Nobody
starts out with 10,000 steps," Klein says. Find out what your daily average
is, and, the next week, strive to walk 300 extra steps each day. Increase your
steps each week.
"Better yet, walk the dog," Klein says. That's how she motivated her
sister to exercise. "Twice a day she walks her dog, which is good for them
both and provides companionship."