Forming A New Habit
Oct 27, 2021
How to start working out:
Starting a workout regiment and/or generally fitness routine can be hard. The best way I found to start and stay with a new fitness plan is to first realize that you’re trying to form a new habit. Knowing that it normally takes about two months to form a new habit is important so you don’t get mentally defeated after a few weeks have gone by and you still don’t feel like working out is a part of your natural cycles
One of the best ways to start a new habit is to tie it to an existing habit or part of your daily life. For instance, if you normally eat breakfast at the same time, try setting aside a few minutes just to do some basic bodyweight exercises to get you warmed up in the morning before you start to eat. If you have a long break during certain days you can start using part of that break to exercise. If you watch TV at specific times during the day you can start doing basic workouts while certain aspects of what you are watching happens. An example would be if you’re watching football every time there’s a passing play you could do a few push-ups and ever time it is a running play do a few bodyweight squats.
Another important aspect of forming a new habit is to document what you’re doing to both hold yourself accountable and to show your progression over time. Get a new small journal just for your work outs and write down what you are doing each day as well as a few far out goals that you’d like to reach. Setting fitness goals is key in keeping yourself on track. It’s best to set three types of goals. One that you are sure you should hit, one that will be challenging but you should get it if you are persistent, and one that you are bot sure you could get even with your best effort, but is in the realm of possibility.
Though it may take a few months to make the habit a natural part of your day, know that you should see some improvements (if you are consistent) within the first 3 weeks. It is also important to know that these improvements will mostly be from neurological adaptations. You might feel stronger or fast but not see any physical changes. This is because our brains are getting more efficient with its movements and energy systems. So if you don’t see any changes in the first few weeks don’t be surprised and keep at it. You normally start to see improvements about a month out from starting a new routine.
With the right planning, knowledge and attitude you should be able to make exercising become a part of your natural daily life. Once the habit is formed, as long as you keep yourself accountable through record keeping and/or having someone else check in on your progress, you will feel like it was always a part of your normal life.
Brett Stanley, Certifed Personal Trainer