Ask anyone who has ever used exercise to make a drastic change to their life and they will likely tell you that consistency is the foundation to long-term success.
Behaviors like regular physical activity and proper nutrition are an essential component of long-term health, but with the craziness we've all witnessed within the past year and a half with lockdowns and covid, it can be difficult to make the necessary changes to adopt new lifestyle habits.
When it comes to exercise, focusing on the positive aspects of changing a behavior can make it a more pleasurable experience. The brain rewards pleasurable experiences by increasing levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Learning how to enjoy the process of exercise could elevate levels of these transmitters so that exercise becomes a positive and rewarding experience. The result is that the more you exercise, the better you will feel, which could lead to long-term behavior change and a healthier life.
Use the following six steps to help shift your focus so that you approach exercise as a means to a healthier life, which is essential for making it a daily habit.
1. Treat yourself
Give yourself a small reward after completing a workout, doing all of the workouts you scheduled for yourself in a week or when you hit a goal. No, this does not mean breaking the bank or enjoying a meal with three times as many calories as you just burned off, but maybe it could be giving yourself permission to purchase a new piece of clothing or enjoy a treatment at a spa. Whatever it is, treating yourself to a reward activates the pleasure centers in your brain, which helps to establish a positive outlook toward the role that exercise plays in your life.
2. Schedule your workouts
If you live by your appointment calendar, it may sometimes feel as though your schedule takes over your life and limits the amount of time available for a workout. However, if you take the time to plan your schedule and include time for exercise, it is more likely to become a regular habit. Take a few minutes over the weekend to plan when and where you will exercise and put it in your schedule. Then, if someone tries to make demands for your time, you can say, “Sorry, but I’ve already got plans.”
Our sessions here at Body Shape Fitness are:
Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 6:10am and 9:30am
Monday/Wednesday/Thursday at 18:30pm
If you think you could attend 3 of those sessions a week, we'd love to have you on board! Click here to find out more!
3. Set a goal
There are two primary types of goals: outcome and learning. Outcome goals focus on the end result of performing a task, e.g. losing 18 pounds in 6 weeks. Learning goals, focus on the process or steps required to achieve an outcome, such as learning how to exercise with a kettlebell. Having goals is a fantastic way to help you stay motivated and ensure you keep turning up to the exercise sessions!
4. Change your mindset
Refocus your outcome goals to focus on quality of life rather than trying to achieve some media-defined appearance. Instead, think of exercise as a means for improving your health and enhancing your quality of life, allowing you to keep up with your children, go on bike rides, take long walks. If you shift your focus toward using exercise as a means for achieving and maintaining better health, you might be surprised at how motivated you will become to maintain a more consistent workout schedule. Also by focussing on these goals, possibly without even realising, your body will have drastically changed.
5. Find a workout buddy
Taking the steps to initiate behavior change by yourself can be tough, so having a friend along with you for the journey could help make the process a little easier. Fortunately for you, we have the friendliest group of people here at Body Shape Fitness, all of which support eachother every step of the way! Not only does having a laugh with people whilst training, make it more enjoyable, but it helps the time pass more quickly. Having people to hold each other accountable also means you’re less likely to skip your workout if you know someone is counting on you. If you and a workout partner commit to exercising together, chances are greater that you will enjoy the experience, which is essential for establishing a long-term habit.
Taking these steps to focus on the positive aspects of working out could help change your perception of the benefits of exercise so that it becomes easier to make it a consistent habit. It is only when exercise becomes a regular habit that you will experience lasting and long-term results from your efforts.
Don't hesistate to get in touch if you want to find out more about our 6 Week Transformation Programme and how we can help you get in the best shape of your life! Click here to find out more! :-)