Getting Yourself to Workout
We’ve all been there. It’s New Year’s Day and this is the year you’re finally going to start exercising consistently. One week in? You’re pretty pleased with your newfound commitment. But somewhere along the way you find you’re hitting snooze, joining co-workers at happy hour, or spending some extra time with your family after work. There went your motivation and good intentions for this to be the year to get in shape.
What gives? Chances are you haven’t read up on habit formation and process-focused goals versus outcome-based goals. The good news is, we studied it for you. And here’s a little secret: The best workout out there? It’s the one you actually do.
Habit formation is all the rage these days, and for good reason. It’s backed by neuroscience and how our brains actually work.
The British Journal of General Practice (BJGP), 2012 states decades of psychological research consistently show that mere repetition of a simple action in a consistent context leads, through associative learning, to the action being activated upon subsequent exposure to those contextual cues (that is, habitually).
Here are a few tricks to get your brain — and body — in the habit of exercising.
Attach your new habit to an old one
Here are a few examples. Since you’re already waking up every morning (thank goodness), lay out your clothes next to your bed the night before so you can immediately put them on and head out. Or, say you’re not a morning person. Since you already leave work every evening (thank goodness), bring your workout clothes so you can change in the bathroom the minute you finish packing up to leave for the day. Either way, you’re forming a small habit that will prepare you to exercise.
Make a SMALL commitment. We all fail when we think too big when it comes to working out.
Think about your schedule, realistically, and commit to exercising maybe just one time per week at first. As soon as that feels doable, add another day. And so on until you reach your desired amount of days per week for exercise. Keep in mind it can take up to 60 days to form a new habit, so be patient with yourself.
Make it enjoyable
Another key to turning exercise into a habit is to choose a fitness activity you truly enjoy. Rarely do people stick with an exercise program if they dread the workout they’re about to do. Whatever you enjoy, find a way to get a mix of both cardio and strength training workouts in each week. (Check out these CDC Guidelines for a good baseline.)
Though gym memberships skyrocket every January, most people find it’s not their thing for one reason or another. That’s why Gixo, our fitness app offering over 100 classes per week, is great. No matter your schedule or fitness level, you can find a class that’s right for you. Plus the live coaches hold you accountable and offer feedback, and your teammates are accessible via text and phone to build a social exercise network, virtually. Classes range from all cardio to all strength and everything in between.
Yep, we’re all about helping you work your way to healthy. And our coaches will do their best to make Gixo your latest healthy — and enjoyable — habit.