Hereâ€™s the Best Way to Make Your Exercise Habit Stick | TIME
Geege Schuman stashed this in Life Hacks
The most consistent exercisers, researchers found, were those who made exercise into a specific type of habitâ€”one triggered by a cue, like hearing your morning alarm and going to the gym without even thinking about it, or getting stressed and immediately deciding to exercise. â€śItâ€™s not something you have to deliberate about; you donâ€™t have to consider the pros and cons of going to the gym after work,â€ť explains L. Alison Phillips, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University and one of the studyâ€™s authors. Instead, itâ€™s an automatic decision instigated by your own internal or environmental cue.
The researchers wanted to see whether this type of habit, known as an instigation habit, was better than another type of habit at predicting who stuck with a month of exercise. At the beginning and end of the monthlong study, they asked 123 university students and faculty questions that assessed how often they exercised and how strong their exercise habits wereâ€”whether they did it without thinking, for example. From these questions, they gleaned whether a person has a strong instigation habitâ€”one where a cue triggers the instantaneous decision to exerciseâ€”and whether a person has a strong execution habitâ€”that is, knowing exactly what kind of exercise theyâ€™ll do once you get to the gym, or being able to go through the motions of an exercise routine while being mentally checked out.
Basically, you're better off if you don't have to think about it.Â
Make exercising automatic, not something you have to decide to do.Â