It’s not easy launching a brand new exercise routine and sticking with it.  Face it, it’s often a whole lot more fun sitting around watching television than doing the 50th sit up in a half-hour routine. Getting into the habit of exercising, however, is just plain smart and it can have benefits that ripple throughout every aspect of your life.

If exercising is really hard for you and you find yourself either not able or willing to do as much as you’d like or should, there are some points to keep in mind:

  1. Exercising only gets easier as time goes on. What seemed hard during the first week of a fitness plan will be a breeze a few weeks down the road if you stick with it. Plus, the longer you stick with it, the more you’ll find yourself being able to do.
  2. People are often driven by impulse and habits. Jumping into an exercise program might seem like a great idea on Day One.  But, it’s tempting to push too hard and too fast to get results.  What ends up happening is that enthusiasm felt in the beginning fades and exercising regularly falls by the wayside all too quickly.

Making Exercise a Habit

In order to really incorporate exercise into the routine, the action has to become a habit. This means setting a routine, even a varied one, and sticking with it for at least four weeks. If this is done, chances are pretty good that exercising will become an automatic and even enjoyable pursuit.

Try these tips to get the ball rolling:

  • Start out small. Don’t expect to be able to run a marathon in the first week or even first few months. Even a few minutes of exercise every morning for four weeks can help set the habit, so there’s no need to go overboard.
  • Set goals. Be reasonable and realistic with each “mini-goal” leading to the next biggest accomplishment. Write fitness goals down and be sure to celebrate each milestone met.
  • Seek advice.  Beginning an exercise program blind, without input from a pro that can gauge ability and recommend workouts that make sense just isn’t smart.  Check in with the pros at a local gym or fitness center for sound input on creating a new exercise plan that’s easy to kick off and has a good chance of becoming a healthy habit.  These same pros can help make sure a new routine is safe, smart and reduces chances for injury. They are also fantastic for providing often needed support.