Exercise is vital to living and sustaining a healthy mind and body. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise not only helps control weight, combat disease and other health conditions, it also improves mood and can even promote better sleep habits.
These reasons alone should make all of us jump off the couch and start getting active, but many still don't. Why? The answer is simple: they haven't created an exercise habit.
Think about your habits for a minute. Making coffee in the morning, checking Facebook, turning on the TV, picking out clothes and tuning into your favorite radio station on your way to work. These are all habits you've created over time. They require little to no preemptive thought. You just do them because it's part of your routine.
Exercise can also become a habit in your daily life. You don't need to make excuses about not having enough time or pushing it off to another day or month. Fitness is meant to be a lifelong process between you and your body. It doesn't need to be an hour every day and it doesn't require a gym membership.
These five tips can help get you on the path to becoming happier and healthier by creating an exercise habit.
1. Start small and slow.
Exercise doesn't need to be extreme. Beginning with something simple like a daily walk can invigorate your mind and open the door to furthering your fitness goals. Taking that first step is vital and will lead you to another step in furthering your fitness goals.
2. Choose a time and stick with it.
Find a time in your day that you promise yourself you won't fill with anything other than investing in your health. Exercising at the same time every day will become routine and make it easier to stay consistent.
3. Make your health a priority.
People who exercise daily make better choices. That short walk can lead to better meal choices and mental clarity. Healthy choices lead to a healthier lifestyle.
4. A commitment can become a habit.
Give yourself 30 days of consistent exercise so your brain and body can mentally and subconsciously commit to the routine.
5. Don't be extreme.
Habits are part of our daily life because they're done without a lot of mental preparation. Constant overexertion will lead to fatigue and failure. Find something fitness related you can learn to enjoy and look forward to.
The biggest key to creating and maintaining an active life is to understand it IS a lifelong process between you and your body. Becoming healthy and fit doesn't happen overnight. If you can follow these simple steps, you'll be on your way to adding one very beneficial habit to your everyday life.