Creating a lasting habit is easier than you think – it starts with building a routine.
The first step to building a routine is to decide what you want to accomplish. There are many different health and fitness goals but some of the most common are:
- Losing weight
- Gaining more muscle
- General health and fitness
Let’s say you’ve decided general health and fitness is your goal and you want to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. So how often should you be going to the gym to make it a part of your daily routine? To turn your goal into a lasting habit?
- Get to the gym 3-4 times per week
You can piece out your gym days by trying 2 cardio based and 2 strength based group exercise classes. Or, if you’re not the group exercise type, you can have a personal trainer set-up a program that compliments your goals.
- For the first 3 months, focus on showing up
It takes 12 full weeks to turn a new pattern into a lasting habit. That means you need to commit to 3 full months on complete compliance. Missing even one day can make it easy to give up. These same principles hold true for your diet. If you decide you need to change how you eat, then you need to keep those new habits going consistently for 12 weeks to make them a part of your daily existence.
- Keep a food and exercise log
A wise friend of mine once said “winners keep records”. Logging food and exercise are great ways to help keep you on track with your goals. There are a lot of free apps and online services to help you track your diet, workout and even sleep patterns. Some of my favorite tracking tools are:
My Fitness Pal
Nike Fit Bit
- Reexamine and reassess
After the initial 12 weeks, it’s time to reexamine your goals, add more days, vary the workouts, or specialize your workout.
If you have questions or would like more information on how to make health and fitness a lasting habit send me an email!
By Melissa Abramovich, Elite Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor