Creating Healthy Habits is Key to Staying Active
Tagging Habits to Activities
If you think of a regular occurrence in your life that happens around the same time each day/week you can tag your desired exercise habit onto the back of this. For example, if you visit your mum three times a week in an afternoon you can then make it a habit to visit to the gym on your way home. If you want to exercise while your child is at nursery then make this a habit that after dropping them off you go straight to your class or to the gym, done repeatedly it’ll only be a matter of time before your brain automatically links the two and ‘habit stacking’ as it is known will become part of your regular routine.
Start out Small
If this seems overwhelming you can start out small, i.e., after washing the pots in an evening do 20 sit ups or calf raises, start out three times a week and then increase it to five then maybe seven. You don’t have to just have one habit either you can have several small five-minute chunks throughout the week as long as you tie them to a regular activity, you’ll soon easily make the time to fit in exercise that you didn’t ordinarily think you had time to do, and these small five-minute chunks will soon start to add up to 30 minutes and more.
Do it With a Friend
If motivation is an issue why not ask a friend to join in with you, you could go to a class together on your way home from work or go for a walk or run after the morning school run. Either way sticking to a regular activity at the same time and place each week is proven to be effective and easier to stick to. It will enable you to change your behaviour more easily and establish routines that lead to a new lifestyle that soon becomes the norm.
Adults in England should aim to take part in at least 150 minutes of minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, according to physical activity guidelines for adults from the UK Chief Medical Officers so start out small if this works for you with 10 minute sessions tied to your habit then build it up or add more habits as you improve.
Keep it Simple
Keeping it simple is the key to success, don’t put too much pressure on yourself or you’ll set yourself up for failure. If mornings are a hectic time getting the kids ready for school and getting to work on time then make your habits in the evenings and at weekends, but if you’re a morning person then make sure you tie in habits to your morning routine and getting up that little bit earlier could be a great time for you to do some exercise before you start your day, either way make it work for you and you’ll soon start to see results by incorporating these simple but positive habits into your life.
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Healthy Habits Planner
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