Tips to Make Exercise a Habit

Tips to help make exercise a habit. PFP trainer with training client. Pittsburgh Fitness Project

When it comes to establishing a fitness routine, many people face the same dilemma, they struggle to make exercise a habit in their busy day-to-day life. Perhaps you make it to a handful of gym sessions, but find it hard to stick to them after the first few weeks. Often, this is because you haven’t allowed the time for exercise to become an automatic part of your routine.

A habit is an action performed on a regular basis without thinking very much about it. It’s essentially automatic.  Forming any kind of routine or habit can be a challenge at first.  It can take some time and determination, but it’s far from impossible. Try these strategies to help make exercise a habit that sticks.

Make exercise a habit: Set goals

Goals provide us with direction. The key is to set specific and measurable goals, as opposed to goals that are vague and not as well defined. Goals should be challenging, yet realistic and achievable in order to set yourself up for success. For instance, the goal “I want to get in shape” is not quite specific enough. An example of a specific goal can be something like “I want to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath” or “I want to do an unassisted pull-up”. These types of goals provide more focus and direction to your training, making it easier to keep the momentum going!

Put it on your calendar

If you want to build a lasting routine that makes exercise a habit, you have to make time for it. A good way to go about this is to schedule your workouts ahead of time. Instead of viewing exercise as something you’ll get to if you have the time, make them something you set specific time aside for.

Start small

Overshooting or aiming too high, too soon can leave you feeling discouraged. Instead, start small and work on just a few goals at a time. Focus on tackling those before moving on to the next. A goal of exercising 5 times a week for an hour might sound good, but how likely are you to follow through with it? ? Instead, you might start by committing to 2-3 times per week and increase frequency as you become accustomed to your new routine. 

To make exercise a habit, understand that you won’t be motivated every day

While motivation is an important part of starting/ getting back into your fitness journey, there will inevitably be days that you don’t have the drive to workout. Perhaps you’ve had a tough day at work and the idea of relaxing on the couch is much more appealing than heading over to the gym. Oftentimes, just a little bit of action can get the ball rolling. Put on your exercise clothes, do some dynamic stretching, and get a bit of movement in. Tell yourself to do what you can with no expectations. Once you get started, you might find you feel much better than you anticipated!

Work out with others

For some, it can be really tough to adhere to an exercise routine when doing it alone.  If this sounds like you, consider finding an exercise partner, personal trainer, or joining a group class. Not only does this help to keep you more accountable, but can make your workouts more fun and increase your odds of sticking to your routine.

Schedule Your free intro
Talk with a coach about your goals, get the plan to achieve them.


fill out the form below to get started!

Take the first step towards getting the results you want!

learn more about our membership options

Fill out the form below to get started.