6 Tips for Creating Healthy Fitness Habits
Updated: Aug 20
We all know how effective New Year’s resolutions are. Broken yours, yet?
That often happens because we set a massive goal like attaining World Peace. Or running a marathon.
We’re human — we can’t cope with impossible goals. You’ve got to make it easier.
So here are 6 Top Tips you can use to create healthy fitness habits.
Tip #1 — Start small
Choose something small and achievable for you. That could be something like:
· Walk every other day for 15 minutes
· Do 3 push-ups on your knees 3 times a week
· While watching television, do 2 simple stretches during the ad breaks
You decide what’s an achievable goal for you. Make it something you know you can do. You can gradually build on your success later. When you join XPT, we help you set achievable fitness goals to build healthy habits.
Tip #2 — Make the healthy habit easy to do
When you wake up early to exercise, set the conditions for a successful start:
Put it in your diary
Lay your fitness clothes out the night before
Fill your water bottle, and have your wallet and keys ready
Eliminate excuses that could get in the way. You’re planning for success with pre-preparation. If you decide you want some personal training, you’re halfway there already.
Tip #3 — Reward yourself
If you have a dog, you know how their behaviour can be trained with rewards. Pretend you’re a dog! When you do the right thing, a reward is a powerful signal and a great way to reinforce a new habit.
Make sure you:
Pick a healthy reward — a doughnut is not a reward, it’s backsliding!
Align the reward to the fitness habit — buy yourself some new gym gear or running shoes, or an inspirational book about an athlete
Love a long soak in the bath? When you reward yourself like that, you’re setting up the conditions for success
Tip #4 — Link your healthy habit to your ideal identity
Knowing why you want to create a fitness habit helps a great deal. Abstract numbers — like wanting to weigh X kilos or lift Y kilos — are not as effective as creating a clear mental image of the ideal you such as:
You want to build fitness and confidence so you can feel good about dating
You want to gain core strength so you don’t grunt getting in and out of chairs
You want to stay flexible enough to get on the floor with the grandkids
Spend some time working out your deepest motivation. If you can connect with that idea, find an image that represents it and put it up where you can see it. Now you know why you’re building new healthy habits, you’re much more likely to stick with them. We also help reinforce good habits at XPT and encourage you every step of the way.
Tip #5 — Grow aware of your triggers (cues)
For many people, waking up is a trigger to make some coffee. The coffee is your reward, and drinking it regularly has established a habit. For healthy habits, this is fine, but for unhealthy ones, it’s a good idea to become aware of the triggers that stimulate you to indulge the bad habits, like:
You get sleepy mid-afternoon and eat a slice of cake
Once the top is off the bottle of wine, you make sure you finish it
If there’s a choice between a lift and stairs, you always choose the lift
We all have a version of these triggers and habits. The point is to recognise that habits satisfy our deep-seated needs. It’s very hard to just eliminate bad habits — it’s much better to try to replace them with healthy habits.
When you get sleepy, you could head out for a quick walk around the block to feel refreshed
Decant the wine into a half-bottle and put that aside, reducing the temptation to drink the lot
Take the stairs as you imagine the new identity you want to be, each step getting you a bit closer to your goal
Tip #6 — Make it fun
Some people find exercise boring, but it doesn’t have to be. A trip to the gym or a fitness class doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth. XPT is a friendly, personal gym where you’ll be greeted by name and get to know like-minded others.
Some things you can do to make fitness fun are:
Get a friend to join you in working out and have a few laughs as you support each other’s fitness habits
Reward yourself with some new music to listen to as you walk or exercise
Try a new sport or activity, like a dance class, walking group, aerobics or team sport
Remember that social interactions can be powerful reinforcements, and engaging in fitness activities with others adds many social rewards. Plus, the commitment to showing up makes it easier to build fun habits that are good for you.
In a nutshell
At Xpress Personal Training, one of the most convenient, friendly gyms in Adelaide, we can help you create healthy fitness habits to help you become the ideal person you’d like to be.