5 Tips for Creating a Tradition of Exercise

Tis the season to practice traditions and develop new ones. It’s easy to get caught up in seasonal festivities and let the tradition of exercise fall by the wayside. These five tips can help you stay motivated to work out – making them part of your normal daily routines can be a very healthy habit!

1. Keep it fun. If you don’t love exercise, it requires more self-control to do it. So find something you love (yoga, pilates, dance, something you did as a kid, a specific sport, etc.) and embrace it as your chosen method of exercise. You’ll be far more likely to fit it in if it’s something you look forward to and truly enjoy.

2. Make it a morning ritual. Your self-control reserves are highest in the morning. Not only is it cooler (you’re less likely to get really hot and sweaty), but it can also be easier to stay motivated when you start your day with exercise.

3. Pat yourself on the back. Rather than holding your self-rewards for after you’ve accomplished your workout goals, treat yourself first in some small way. Maybe you allow yourself to read from your favorite book or eat a special healthy snack before you workout, but whatever your “get started” reward is, research shows it can improve your mood and boost your willpower.

4. Make it musical. Besides listening to fun, energizing music while you workout, listening to motivating tunes in your car as well can help you head to the gym instead of heading home. A song you love that gets you energized after work can help boost the desire to exercise.

5. Allow for a nap. Fatigue breeds decreased willpower, so if you’re exhausted, take a little nap before heading to the gym. It will charge you up mentally and physically and will likely boost your discipline enough to help you get on your shoes and get to the gym.

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