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5 Tips for Making Exercise a Habit5 Tips for Making Exercise a Habit


Elliptical workout

Making exercise a habit is the key to sticking with your workouts. Just like brushing your teeth or packing your lunch, exercise must become a regular part of your day. Try these five tips and make exercise a habit that you can’t break!

Commit to a class.

Sign up for a 6- 9 week session such as dance, martial arts, boot camp, yoga, or Tai chi. Attending on a regular basis will help you create the habit, and knowing there is an end in sight will keep you motivated. When it’s over, you will likely miss it, and you can find a new activity to take its place.

Pick a daily play list.

Compile your favorite workout songs and make a different playlist for each day of the week. Avoid repeating songs on playlists so that you begin to associate your favorite songs with certain days of the week. This will help you look forward to your workouts, and prevent burn out from hearing the same music over and over.

Workout during your favorite television show.

Pick a few of your favorite television shows, and make them off limits unless you are exercising while you watch. You can watch while on the bike at the gym, on the treadmill at home, or while doing some strength moves in your living room. If you know you can’t watch unless you are moving, you’ll be more likely to lace up your tennis shoes.

Put exercise in your path.

Put your place of exercise between where you are and where you need to be. Find a gym, park, or exercise studio that you pass on your commute. If there isn’t one there now, explore different routes. The more convenient it is to get to your exercise venue, the more likely you will be to stop for your workout.

Set a new mini-goal each week.

Choose a mini-goal for each week that encourages a minor change, but that also gives you a sense of accomplishment. For example, this week hold each plank 10 extra seconds. Next week add a 30 second sprint to the end of each run. Aiming for a small goal that is constantly changing will keep you exercising through to the end of the week. When you accomplish your mini-goal, be sure to celebrate!

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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