This seems strange since I am a health and fitness specialist. I’ve talked to many people who love it: they love getting up, going to the gym, running, everything else. I have a friend who spends two hours doing exercise every day.
I tried going to the gym once a day, right after graduating from high school. I got out of bed at 5 am every working day, determined to get ready before work started. I had to do it alone, I hated every moment, and the seconds spent at the gym seemed to go very slowly. This routine lasted about a month before giving up and I didn’t go to the gym for months.
I was exhausted.
Fast forward: five years later, I practiced every day without fail for more than a year. It’s not a struggle, I don’t have to think about it. In fact, I often don’t think about it. I did it and it comes in a simple and natural way.
Humans operate according to habits. It’s a fact According to a recent study, up to 40% of our days are in autopilot. It’s a good thing: dressing up and brushing your teeth doesn’t need mental energy, so we don’t think about it. These are just the things we do – we don’t have to convince ourselves to dress or brush our teeth (except on really lazy days).
Habits also have setbacks: they are difficult to break, which hurts bad habits. And they are difficult to take, which hurts to take a new good habit (as in the case of my exercises).
Getting into a habit is not as easy as starting to do something every day. You will notice that I missed going to the gym every morning, even though I tried it for over a month, it never became a habit.
So what does it give? Why don’t you stick, but my little daily training regimen?
The answer is simple. Think about your habits: get up, clean your teeth, and rinse. Maybe you have some bad guys, or maybe bite your nails, or take your nose or anything else.
Good or bad, what do all these things have in common?
It is small work, almost effortless, which means that repetition and construction are easy!
Start small and work
So you cannot start big. Great workout gym workout? This would never help me, it was too big to force him to practice. In fact, it was actually an opposite goal:
The trick is to start with something small, something you can do quickly, preferably in 5 minutes. For me, there were 10 payouts and 10 sit-ins, and I did them well when I woke up. Do not like it, do not walk or fluctuate. I woke up and took a sip of water and paid 10 exercises and 10 sit-ins. I did this for a few weeks. I did not enjoy it and was not inspired to do it and I never did.
But I did. That was my goal every day, every time I completed it, although it was very easy, I felt proud and accomplished. I did it so I did not have to think about it anymore and I no longer feel proud or accomplished, it was just something I did.
Then I built them with other bodyweight exercises (which I took from the excellent Nerd Fitness guide here) little by little. I added stabs in the week, then jumped up to the next day, and after just over two months, I did a full 20-minute training every morning without thinking about it.
Focus on doing, not on results.
I know what you’re thinking, and that’s what I was thinking about too.
“But 10 exercises and squatting will not work for me.”
You are right not to do so. This is not the point here, the basic point is to begin to create a good habit start little by little. Look at it in another way: instead of doing 0 payments, I’ve done 10. or 5. Or 1. What matters is that you’ve done more than zero! This over zero will eventually become a habit if you raise them up.
What you’re focusing on here is not the results, it’s not a quick improvement scheme designed to take you to Superman mode in 30 days or less. What you do instead is usually a long-term encouragement that allows you to build a foundation of consistency you can build upon.
For example: Suppose you have been practicing for 20 minutes in the morning, but you lack exercise. Combine 20 minutes and 5 minutes of jogging. Then, after a few weeks, you add another 5 minutes. Then another, taking care to layer their good habits and develop them. After a few months, you practice 20-minute body exercises every day and work for 20 minutes a day. I challenge anyone to say that they will not have measurable effects on your health and well-being.
Exercise is difficult. Remember: I hate practice. I love the exercise. And if you turn the exercise into a habit, gradually, you will not even have to deal with the exercise: You will do so simply on autopilot, and the results will flow to you!
Marie Equi is director of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiologic Research CIDER at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. El-Sadr also is a University Professor at Columbia University.