How Long Does It Take to Make Exercise a Habit?
The social media revolution has brought so many changes to the health and fitness landscape in the past few years. The prevalence of crafting different diet plans as well as various workouts is evident on all platforms. This unstoppable revolution also encourages people to evaluate their lifestyle and make drastic modifications not just to fit in the society but more so to live healthier. With hundreds of diet options available, the complementary exercises also boost their numbers. The question, though, how long does it take to make exercise a habit? You must be contemplating on trying some exercises now but deeply worried about not being able to sustain them in the long run. Making exercise a habit also takes discipline and a handful of patience. Although there isn’t really any specific timeframe in making exercise a habit, your ability to make it happen depends on your willpower to actually do it. Though you may have read some theories like 21 days to make your habit, some people still disprove its effectivity. Some who succeeded in making it happen attributed their success to psychological conditioning. Because their mind was conditioned to make exercise a habit after 21 days, they were really able to do it. Based on my personal experience, here’s what I can share:
A Week Of Adjustment
When you have lived a sedentary life for quite some time, your body will really have a hard time adjusting if you suddenly force it to exercise. Whether the momentum has already been reached and you have felt that you are ready to get fit, your body will act otherwise. Sometimes the mind contradicts the body and vice versa. But don’t lose hope. If you are bent on making exercise a habit, start by giving yourself a whole week do it slowly. Don’t force what you can’t do but don’t be so lenient either. In one week, a lot of things can happen. Your body warms up and will actually crave for more once you start. The pitfall there actually when you reach the 7-day period so you need to watch yourself at that point. If you feel lazy to continue at the end of the week, that’s the time you use mind conditioning in order to compensate for the lack of action by your body. Try to get up and get on the track no matter what your body feels.
Another Week For Validation
When you successfully gained better body and mind condition after a week, try to give yourself another week extension. I remember the time when I shifted from walking to running after a week of successful conditioning, my body automatically adjusted to the pace I initially introduced. It got me surprised but I soon realized that our body has its own way of fitting into the kind of activity you want it to do. Such a realization made me think that a week of conditioning can be the best prelude to making exercise a habit. So when you start to reset your exercise on the second week, make sure that you push yourself further in order for the motivation not to drop. If the first week was all about mind and body conditioning, the second week must be all about motivation and inspiration. You need to remind yourself that reaching the week after takes a lot discipline so there’s no way you are quitting halfway through it. Once you conquer all the doubts and lazy thoughts, you will be able to successfully make exercise a habit.
One More Day To Make It Fifteen
Believe it or not but 15 days is more than enough to finally make exercise a habit. When I added one more day after I counted two weeks, it was actually about the decision to make exercise a part of my daily activities. You might think it’s way too short and may even be hard to continue because it’s barely a month. You don’t really have to resort to thinking of negative things. Again, mind and body conditioning is such an essential part in making something a habit. Exercise isn’t an exception. On the 15th day of your journey towards regaining a healthy and fit lifestyle, bring some positive thoughts with you while doing the exercise of your preference. Looking back on that glorious additional day of my 14-day target to make running a habit, I found sheer fulfillment in the idea that nothing was ever wasted. Just commit to that one extension and decide that exercise will be a habit you won’t break.
Whenever you think of a time frame in doing something, in this case, making exercise a habit, always focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t. There may be times when you also need to stop counting just to make sure that you don’t simply rely on external factors to motivate you but rather encourage yourself from within. Making exercise a habit only needs your focus and determination.