5 steps to making increased movement a habit in 2023
With a new year comes a fresh start, alongside the resolution to make exercise and increased movement a priority. Often falling at the first hurdle, many people struggle to make movement a habit, not a hobby.
Fitness fanatic, Paul Hosie has been a personal trainer for 10 years and has a mission to help his clients achieve their health and well-being goals. Whether it be to lose weight, gain muscle, improve cardiovascular fitness or simply feel more confident in your own skin, Paul offers a variety of training options suited to all abilities.
Previously located at The Boxes at Chapelton, Paul’s business has recently expanded to a larger premises within Slate and Grain, demonstrating the success and hard work that has been put into growing the business and its community.
In this guest blog post, we caught up with Paul who shares five simple and easy steps to help turn increased movement into a habit, covering everything from identifying your goals to staying consistent …
Identify your goals
Before you start any journey – regardless of what it may be – it’s important to set yourself clear goals or milestones to aim towards. When it comes to increasing your movement, it’s essential to set goals that are realistic and achievable, as creating overly ambitious targets can damage your motivation.
Start by considering what you want to achieve through increased movement, whether it be to improve your physical fitness, help reduce stress or better your mental health. By having clear objectives, you will feel more focused and driven on your habit-building journey.
Make a plan:
Creating a plan is essential to help build habits as it allows you to stay organised, prioritise your time, set goals and track your progress. A well-crafted plan can provide a clear roadmap for achieving success and should be the starting point of your journey. Additionally, a plan is a great way to hold yourself accountable as without one, it’s easy to lose sight of your aims.
The first step in creating a movement-based plan is to determine how you want to incorporate it into your routine and when you will do it. There are plenty of ways to add movement into your daily life, such as going for a walk every morning before work, taking a yoga class once a week or scheduling weekly workout sessions.
It’s important to start slowly and gradually build up your movement habits. If you try to do too much too quickly, you may become overwhelmed and stressed. You ideally want to try and start with small, manageable tasks that are easier to stick to. This will help you build momentum and reduce the chance of burnout.
By starting small you have the flexibility and control to gradually increase the difficulty or complexity of your goals over time. For example, if you’re in a job which is predominantly office based and juggle a busy family life at home, then it may be unrealistic to set yourself the goal of reaching 15,000 steps every day. Instead, you should start by setting yourself a smaller more achievable target such as 5,000 steps, then gradually build this number up over time.
Track your progress:
Keeping track of your journey is extremely important because it allows you to see how far you’ve come and measure your current progress. It can give you a strong sense of accomplishment, motivation and encouragement to continue building the habit. In addition, it can help you to identify any roadblocks or challenges that you may be facing, so you can make relevant adjustments or changes to overcome them.
There are many ways you can keep track of your progress including a journal, a habit tracker or simply putting a mark in your calendar to record your daily movement. All of these suggestions can allow you to identify patterns or trends. For example, you may find that you are more successful at completing your movement goals in the morning rather than in the evening.
Habits take time to form, so you want to be consistent with your routine as this will make it easier for you in the long run. Consistency helps to overcome the initial resistance and discomfort that often comes with forming new habits, particularly those that involve physical movement.
Try to make it a part of your daily routine and be patient with yourself as you work to build the habit. There will be times outwith your control when you may not be able to achieve your movement goal for the day but it’s important not to let this discourage you.
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