What it really takes to make exercise a habit

Last week, we started our 2021 Spring Training Challenge. How is your plan shaping up? One thing is for sure, Winter will come and go. What you are able to do in the Spring is dependent on your winter habits. Let’s be ready for a Spring that has you feeling good from the first day and throughout the summer.

Habits are not formed over time

There are many theories about how many days it takes to make something a habit. Neurosciences tells us we are looking at the wrong variable when we do though. Brain scientists found that it is not time that crates a habit, its experience.

The Habit Loop

Our brain really likes it when something makes us feel better. Eat a comfort food, feel better and your brain wants you to repeat it. Our brain does NOT like it when we do something that makes us feel worse, mentally or physically. Do a form of exercise, feel sore/tired/embarrassed, and your brain wants you to avoid it at all costs!

Willpower versus Motivation

Will power is when you have to spend a lot of energy convincing yourself to do sometime you don’t want to do. That negative experience has part of your brain saying no and the logical reasons to exercise have the other half of your brain saying ‘ but you know you should’. This is willpower not motivation. Motivation literally means “the desire to do something”. Desiring the results is not enough. Rather than wasting energy using willpower, make exercise a habit by making it a positive experience for both your body and brain.

Positive experience leads to habits

When exercise is a positive experience it is not a cop out, its what makes it a habit. All that ‘no pain no gain’, mentality does is tell your brain exercise is something to avoid. In the end it does not lead to results. Consistency leads to results and that is why exercising in a way and a level that feels good now is the way to get results later.

Making exercise a habit

How you move matters a lot! It makes the difference between willpower and habit. When you know how to move your body the way it was designed, you feel better and get better results without the inner argument when its time to exercise. Check out previous blogs on how to make exercise a habit in the new normal for more information about what to do and how much is enough. You might be pleasantly surprised at how pleasant exercise can be when you play along with your body and brain.

Our Spring Training Challenge is not the kind of challenge you do and then forget about. It’s the kind of challenge that builds a strong foundation for your body and your motivation upon which you will keep moving with confidence all year long .

Keep Moving, Be Well,


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by | November 3, 2020 · 9:39 pm

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