Ditch The Excuses: How To Make Exercise A Habit That Sticks

Let's be honest, making it to the gym on the regular can be a major struggle. We asked a personal trainer how to make working out just another part of your day.

Girl working out

Whether you’re an exercise newbie or you’ve been hitting up the gym for a while, it can mega hard to maintain motivation, and ensure you’re working out on the reg. The trick? It’s all about making exercise a habit that sticks, but, er, that’s easier said that done, right?

We hit up Recalibrated Bodies PT Amanda Moroney to find out how we can incorporate a sweat sesh into our everyday, and more importantly, keep it that way.

Find an activity you enjoy

“It takes about 21 days to form a habit so if you can manage to comply for that length of time, you are likely to make it part of your weekly routine,” Amanda explains. The first step? Finding an activity that feels fun for you. “To begin with, don’t over-commit as this often leads to feeling burnt out and increases the risk of injury. Start with three sessions and build on it from there. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be confined to within a gym. You should include a variety of activities to keep your brain stimulated.”

Commit to someone

“Accountability is a motivator in itself,” says Amanda. “If you’ve planned to train with a friend, there is less likelihood you will cancel as you don’t want to let them down. It is much easier to opt out of a session if you have no one to answer to.” Got it.

Make it a priority

You’re far too busy to squeeze in that gym session today, right? Not so, according to Amanda. “Just as we schedule our hair and nail appointments, pencil in your workouts each week. This eliminates the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse, which is the most common reason people fail to include structured exercise into their lives.”

Find what works for you and your lifestyle

“If you have kids or a demanding job with long hours, your exercise routine should take that into account,” Amanda explains. “For many, it’s not feasible to be away from the household any longer than they already are so making it to the gym isn’t an option.” The fix? “Many personal trainers can develop home-based programs that can be completed with minimal equipment,” Amanda recommends. “Again, this comes down to removing the excuses and making exercise something that can be incorporated into everyone’s week, regardless of how busy they are.”

Set a goal

Need an extra jolt of motivation to squeeze in that sweat sesh? “Research has shown that performance-based goals are more intrinsically motivating in the long-run,” Amanda confirms. “Set both a physical goal, such as dropping a dress size, and a performance goal, like increasing your squats by 10kg in a certain time frame.” The result? “This will give you something to focus on and increase the likelihood of developing a habitual exercise pattern.”