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How To Get Into The Habit Of Exercising Every Day. Change Your Routine.

Updated on June 19, 2013


Your habits are behaviors that you do without thinking about them. You do something often enough that you don't need to remind yourself to do it or use a lot of willpower. One of my habits is watching TV. I never forget to watch TV and I don't need to will myself to walk to the TV room and turn the TV on. Once a behavior becomes a habit it becomes part of your normal routine. You just do it.

Bad habits can be hard to break but so are good habits. So once you get into the habit of exercising every day that habit will become hard to break. Exercising will become part of your routine like watching TV. I got into the habit of exercising while I watch TV. Since it is a habit I never forget to exercise and I don't need to force myself to exercise. Mentally it is easier for me to exercise everyday then to stop myself from doing it.

Some of my exercise equipment.
Some of my exercise equipment. | Source
Doing L-sits is a new habit I started.
Doing L-sits is a new habit I started. | Source

Reprogramming Yourself

To start a new habit you need to make sure you don't forget to do the new behavior. You either need to keep thinking about it until you do it or you need to have a reminder. The easiest and most reliable way is to leave yourself a note or some other form of reminder. You also need to give up an old habit so you have time to do the new one. If a reminder is not enough then do something more extreme to stop yourself from doing the old behavior.

Taking the batteries out of the TV remote is a good way to stop yourself from turning on the TV. Moving a couch or putting something on it is a good way to stop yourself from sitting on the couch. Take steps ahead of time to make sure you will do it. After you do it for a few weeks it will become a habit.

Once it is a habit you will no longer need to use reminders or try to remember. It will just be something that you do. Doing the behavior at a specific time and day makes it easier to program the behavior into you. You can program yourself to associate the time and day with the action. It is also easier to program yourself if the behavior is interesting and enjoyable. You should want to do the new habit more than the old habit you are replacing.

Working out before I turn on the TV.
Working out before I turn on the TV. | Source
Woman doing  yoga with Wii Fit.
Woman doing yoga with Wii Fit. | Source

Starting An Exercise Routine

To get myself started I wrote down a list of exercises and made a schedule. Then I put the list where I would see it and put some exercise clothes and exercise equipment where I would see them. After work I would put on the exercise clothes so I was ready to exercise. When it was time to exercise forgetting was not an option because I could see my list and I could see the exercise equipment. I was also wearing my workout clothes.

The habit I replaced was sitting on the couch. At 8:00 pm I would go to the TV room and sit on the couch. That gave me a time and place. The time to walk to the TV room was already programmed into me. I just needed to change what I did when I got there. Now I either turn on the TV and start working out or I workout before I turn the TV on.

Timers can be helpful. They can be used during the exercise routine and they can tell you when it is time to start exercising. Most mobile devices have alarms that can be set. I often use the one on my music player. Don't hide your exercise routine, exercise clothes and exercise equipment when you are trying to get into the habit of exercising. Put it where you will see it and use it. You can hide the exercise stuff later once you get into the habit of using it. Exercise equipment is not really necessary. I do a lot of cardio and bodyweight exercising. If you don't have any exercise equipment than you can use your clothes, your exercise list and an alarm if you need one.

It is not a very good idea to do the same exercise routine over and over again. I got into the habit of exercising every day but I change my exercise routine too often for the specific exercise routine to become a habit. When it is time to exercise I look at my list of exercises. I change the list when I want to do start a new routine and change the exercise equipment I have out.

Woman biking.
Woman biking. | Source

Making A List

When making a list of exercises pick out exercises that will help you get the results you want and make sure you will actually do them. I don't like doing sit ups so I would not add them to my list of exercises. My current list includes jumping rope, biking, running, shadow boxing, push ups, pull ups, dumbbell curls and playing Wii sports. I do some of the exercises on my list everyday. I don't go through the list and do all of them in one day.

My current goal is to tone my body. I want to get rid of some fat and build a bit more muscle for a firmer body. In a few weeks I will make a new list of exercises and do a different exercise routine.


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    • lisa42 profile image


      7 years ago from Sacramento

      I've never been good at sticking with an exercise regimen, but I bought an exercise desk/bike about a year and a half ago and have used it almost every day. It's the first piece of exercise equipment I've ever stuck with. I think the key is finding something that you enjoy. Then it doesn't seem like so much work!

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Some good ideas there about swapping out TV for exercise. Thanks


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