Replacing old habits with new ones takes time. We all have our unique reasons for changing our habits. It maybe because we have come to realize that it was time or we have been advised to do so for some reason.
Whatever that reason is, the point is that you have decided to make a change. So you must also know that changes are not quick-fixes.
So now we got overeating under control, how do we make regular exercise a habit?
I don’t think I have to tell you the importance of exercise in shedding excess pounds and maintaining a healthy weight. In fact exercise has been found to be the vital ingredient in any diet plan that improves your general health and well-being, and bring your weight under lasting control.
Yet, I do know many people, including myself, struggle to maintain a regular exercise plan. In my case, the difficulty is when I start back at work. As a university lecturer, I do get a fair amount of vacation days. On those days, I stick religiously to exercising. But when the university starts back up, I just want to come home, eat, get work ready for the next day or grade, and sleep. But recently I have found some ways of making this into a habit, and it has been working for me.
Importance of exercise
Apparently it is a fact that overweight people do not necessarily eat more than slimmer people, but they exercise a lot less!
Regular exercise speed up one’s metabolism, even after the exercise period is up. If you lower your calorie intake and cut back on the fats, you may still see some evidence of weight loss. However, without increasing your physical activity, you’d be ignoring the vital ingredient to your weight loss plan, if that is your goal.
Reasons to exercising regularly:
- you burn more calories even after the workout
- helps bring your appetite under control, and you might feel hungry all the time
- develops your self-confidence and well-being
- tones and firms the body
- improves your overall health – heart, lungs, digestive system, and skin as toxins are excreted
- can be seen as an alternative behavior to eating
- clears your head
- takes away the stress
- makes you feel good both physically and emotionally
- convinces you that YOU can make positive changes to benefit no one else but YOU
How to make regular exercise a habit during a working week
Exercise does not have to be an effort. Everything you do that moves your body is exercising it. Gyms probably did not exist 100 or so years ago, if it did maybe only the really wealthy were able to use them. But everyday folk like us can find doing genera chores an exercise.
Using the stairs is an exercise. Parking your car at the end of the parking lot to get your groceries or to go to work is an exercise. Housework and yard work are both very satisfactory exercises anyone can do.
There really is no logical reason to not exercise your body.
And finally …
You probably have thought about changing your habits for sometime now, but you are finding it difficult to do so. Because you don’t feel motivated. Motivation is the catalyst to kick starting you to change, and keeps you going. Something I found that might help you to motivate yourself is to write on a piece of paper under the heading ‘How I am paying for my bad habits’ and list at least three. Then tight next to it under another heading ‘How I’ll benefit from changing my habit’ and list them.
|How I am paying for my bad habits||How I’ll benefit from changing my habit|
|· My clothes are too tight||· My clothes will fit and look great|
|· I feel sloppy and sluggish all the time||· I’ll feel energetic and trim|
Of course you can add to this list or choose your own. So whenever you do not feel motivated to move forward, just look at the list for inspiration.
But always remember that developing new habits take time. So if you are finding yourself going back to the habits you are trying to break free from, and that you are regaining the weight you lost. Don’t despair. You are not a failure. It is natural to lapse when you are changing a habit that you have perfected over a lifetime. So don’t call yourself a failure and throw out the good work you have been doing. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself down, and start all over again and challenge yourself to go further than when you did before the slip.
And if this is something you cannot do on your own, be assertive and seek help and guidance from a friend, a family member or even a professional.
If there is a will to change, then there is a way to make it happen.