The Exercise Habit

The Exercise Habit

Like most things, training is a habit, so, if you’re in the routine of exercising, it’s far easier to keep at it. “Keeping at it” is often thought as fanatical behavior and in many ways it is, but there are far worse things to be fanatical about.

I have to admit that I am fanatical about my own training and have been active in many sports since youth – wherever I’ve been in the world & whatever I’ve been doing, I’ve always made time to train – and largely enjoyed it! The thing I’ve found most difficult, but been disciplined enough to do, knowing when not to train – avoiding overtraining or trying to train through an injury. We all know this’ll only lead to a steady decline at best – sometimes it’s as difficult to stop yourself doing something as it is to start, but hopefully you’ll let commonsense prevail.

Although I’m in the habit of exercising, I know all too well it’s not the easiest habit for most people – easy to break, but far less easy to make – as I deal day-in-day-out with clients whose experiences have consisted of starting and stopping and starting again. In fact, the same is equally true regarding dieting – a subject that goes hand-in-hand with exercising and that we’ll cover in more detail in other articles and our newsletter (sign-up now!).

For me, there are a few common pitfalls why most people have difficulty making exercise a regular habit. The overlapping main problem areas are:

1. Poor knowledge. A lack of understanding of how to structure a suitable training regime means not being able to attain objectives and an inevitable lack of motivation over time.

2. Haste. The over eagerness to look or feel a certain way can lead to an “all or nothing” approach. You want to train every night – running, weight training, team sports etc. – and it’s unsustainable, so you give up.

3. Unrealistic goals. Often you set out to do or achieve too much. The realization that you’re not going to achieve your goal/s leads to a lack of motivation.

4. Lack of motivation. As well as the problem areas mentioned above contributing to a lack of motivation, failure to enjoy your exercise can leave your exercising feeling like a chore, rather than a hobby.

So, how do we address these issues? Keep it simple. Here are the four measures to start the exercise habit (and keep it going!).

1.Seek advice. Consulting knowledgeable people within your exercise field is highly recommended. As the Gym Professor slogan suggests, “Knowledge is Power”. The website offers sensible sample process maps to aid your progression – use them! In addition you may wish to review the book Gym Workouts - Maps to Success.

2. Less haste, more speed! Following a gradual and consistent climb toward your goals, such as the process maps mentioned above, will ensure your progression.

3. Set an achievable course of action and log your diet and training! Do not set out to do too much! Progress is the key, so take one step at a time and set both short-term and long-term goals that are achievable. Note: If using the GP Shuffle workout app, you can log your workout progress.

4. Commit to something. Making a start can be the most difficult thing, so creating a reason and a support group for your efforts can help wonders. For example, the reason may be a forthcoming wedding, holiday, charity race & the support network may be family or friends undertaking the same endeavors. It presents a great opportunity to socialize with family and friends whilst achieving your exercise goals at the same time.

For further advice on structuring your training, review Gym Workouts: Maps to Success, which provides easy-to-use process maps with hundreds of gym workout routines for you to follow (whatever your ability, sport or goal).