Friday, July 10, 2015

Make exercise into a habit

Developing any habit means a routine--doing the thing over and over.

At Iowa State in Ames, they are studying how to make exercise not only a habit but one that is hard to break.

Alison Phillips, assistant prof of psychology, focuses on instigation habits--habits and cues that make you exercise in the first place. What makes you automatically go to the gym or hit the bike trail?

--For instance, you can always exercise at the end of the day. When the day ends, your car heads for the gym.

--For others, the alarm in the morning may be the cue--time to work out.

It takes a month or longer to lock this in as a habit.

Or you can develop--over a longer period of time--the urge to move after say, sitting many hours.

You need to find the cue that works for you.

For many this may be the instigation habit--you seek some exercise--but the type can vary and thus you avoid boredom.

If all you ever do is jog, that may be a habit, but it is also a rut.

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