The Ultimate Method to Making Fitness a Habit Rather Than a Chore

The Ultimate Method to Making Fitness a Habit Rather Than a Chore


Feeling languid but have fitness goals to meet? Let us introduce you to the single best advice we’ve heard that can help make exercise for anyone feel more like a habit rather than a chore

A lot of the time, giving our 100% to self-improvement is easier said than done. Especially for those just starting out a new routine, this change of pace can be difficult to keep up with. That’s why you should make “habit stacking” a part of your vocabulary at this point.

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What’s habit stacking? In a nutshell, it’s an approach to making any new routine sustainable by building momentum through positive reinforcement. This could mean rewarding yourself by watching an episode of your favorite show after accomplishing something difficult. It could also be something as simple as marking your days on your calendar or journal with stickers or other pretty mementos to signify that you’re improving day by day.

When it comes to exercise, this approach can be referred to as “fitness stacking” or “workout stacking.” Whatever terminology you decide to use, just know that at the core of this approach is sustainability, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t meet your goals right away. Break them down and tackle them at your own speed, then go on from there once you’re mentally ready to do more.

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Fitness stacking can look like breaking down your previous goal of 30 to 40-minute daily HIIT sessions into 10-minute workouts so that you don’t mentally exhaust yourself with prolonged exercise. You can even split them into three parts, with one you do in the morning, the other at noon, and the last before you prepare for bed. You don’t even need to do all three of those mini-workouts in a day. One option is to amp yourself up day by day with one 10-minute workout until you can do two of them in a single day, and so on.

Mini-workouts are also a lot more legitimate than you might think, and they don’t even have to be structured exercises. According to one study, vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (VILPA) in non-exercisers seems to elicit similar effects to vigorous physical activity in exercisers, which suggests that VILPA can be a suitable physical activity target for people not able or willing to exercise. In the study, it refers to sporadic bouts of vigorous physical activity done daily and up to two minutes long, such as bursts of very fast walking or stair climbing.

The study also notes that VILPA could be more feasible than structured exercise for most adults because it requires less time commitment and requires no preparation, equipment, or access to facilities. So, ultimately, making decisions like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator is already a success, no matter how small it feels. 

Celebrate your wins. Let these wins stack up. Before you know it, these deliberate decisions become habits that you don’t even need to think twice about, and you’ll eventually have the mental strength to tackle bigger and bigger tasks. 

You can build your momentum by doing morning stretches, as demonstrated below:

An under-10-minute workout is also a feasible way to make fitness a sustainable routine:

Our final reminder when building a sustainable routine to achieve fitness is to remember what you’re working out for. If you don’t necessarily have a “why,” develop one. When it comes to exercise, there’s plenty. Take your pick—it could be that you want to strengthen your body against injuries, build self-confidence, achieve a healthy weight, treat depression, keep up with your physically demanding job, and so much more.

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