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Creating Exercise Habits

Posted by JCC Pittsburgh on June 18, 2015

So you’ve made a resolution about committing to weight loss and starting to exercise and then your initial enthusiasm and energy wane. We get distracted by other things going on in our lives, or we do not think we are seeing results quickly enough, and we throw in the towel. Many people do manage to hang in there and make exercise a lifetime habit, and I know you can be one of them!

A recent study asked long-time exercisers what motivated them to keep up with their regimes. Primarily the exercisers were not as concerned with specific physical goals, like being toned, or having bulging biceps, as they were with feeling good and being healthy.

Here’s is how the participants ranked their motivators:

  1. Fitness
  2. Feelings of well-being
  3. Pep and energy
  4. Enjoyment of exercise
  5. Sleeping better
  6. Feeling alert
  7. Being relaxed
  8. Weight Management
  9. Appearance

How do you become one of the fitness faithful?

  1. Find something that you enjoy.
  2. Exercise in a group or with another person- Exercise retention is improved when exercising in a group and/or with another person.
  3. Make exercise a priority and schedule it in- Exercise has to be scheduled weekly or you will never get to it. Finding 2-3 hours a week should not be so difficult when you plan in advance.
  4. Be aware of all the indicators of progress- We all love it when our clothes fit better, but this is not the only indicator of progress. Lifting heavier weights (Group Power) or being able to workout longer without getting exhausted are other indicators of progress that can keep you on track.
  5. Understand that exercise is not a luxury, it is a necessity! Everyone needs exercise. The conversation that you have with yourself has to change from “if I have the time” to “I must make the time”, or from “if I can fit it in” to “when will I fit it in?” Again, you have to rethink your personal schedule, allowing 2-3 1-hour appointments with exercise per week. In the grand scheme of things this is equal to one night in front of the television. What do think is more important?

Make a positive choice today; It could completely change your life.

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