Starting a healthy habit can be one of the most difficult tasks. It’s so easy to get comfortable with the same old routine day in and day out, even if they’re not serving you well. However, there is something to be learned from how effective our negative routines are. The key to their success is in consistency, but how do you take that self-defeating consistency and turn it into lasting fitness motivation? Keep reading…
Get and stay off the couch: The key to fitness motivation
Researchers surveyed 123 students and faculty at the University of Iowa, asking questions about their exercise habits. They found that the most important thing for consistent workouts is what they call an “instigation habit.” Stronger instigation habits successfully predicted long-term consistency in workouts.
So what exactly is an instigation habit? It’s a cue—something you see, hear, or even feel—that tells you its time to get to your workout. For many, this means the sound of the alarm going off. Let’s say you go on a run first thing every morning. When you wake up, you’re much less likely to lie in bed weighing the pro’s and cons of going on a run or wondering if you can reschedule to another time. Instead, you just get up and go. At least, much more than people who run at all different times.
“When you pick a specific time of day to exercise, then all kinds of [other] things are the same each time you engage in the behavior, so those become part of the memories associated with the behavior of exercising,” explains Art Markman, professor of Psychology at the University of Texas and author of Smart Change.
He also points out that the longer you stick to your schedule, the stronger that association becomes—in other words, getting yourself to the gym will get easier and easier every time.
Full Story: Science-Proven Fitness Motivation
thumbnail courtesy of mensfitness.com