How to make a habit out of exercise

Taking classes or working out with friends are both ways to make a habit out of exercising.

People are motivated to exercise in order to live longer, be healthier and look better. But let's face it: it can be downright difficult to find the spark to get up off the couch, sweat your face off and put your muscles to the test. The key to unlocking a sustainable and enjoyable exercise routine is to center your workout around activities you actually appreciate. So lace up your  running shoes and gulp down the protein powders while perusing this list of tips to help make exercising a habit rather than a chore.

Workout socially
Competition is one of the ultimate motivators, and nothing sets the bar higher than exercising around your peers. Yoga classes are a perfect way to achieve flexibility, clear your mind and be surrounded by people who are determined to stay focused, which has a good chance of rubbing off on you. Hire a personal trainer to help you learn about successful exercising and dieting and also put you to the test during every session. Even lining up weekly jogs or sports games with your friends will allow you to chat and catch up while also getting a sufficient sweat in.   

Do something you enjoy
Lifting weights and running on the treadmill are the obvious forms of exercise, but if you don't enjoy these activities, it will be difficult to stick to them. Try doing 30 minutes of recreational activity you'll actually take pleasure in each day, whether it's going for a bike ride, running with the dog or meeting up with friends for a pick-up basketball game. Another benefit of proper exercise is the therapeutic value of working out as a stress reliever to help get your mind off whatever stresses you.

Make exercise convenient
Sometimes the biggest problem of finding time to workout is the actual process of getting to the gym. There's no rule you have to pay for a membership to get in shape, so make your basement or backyard your ultimate exercise sanctuary. Set up a treadmill by your television and watch your favorite show while running a few miles. Listen to your band of choice while pumping out some dumbbell reps. If you have an errand to run, kill two birds with one stone and literally run to go get it done.

Give it some time
Experts say it normally takes up to six weeks for a routine to settle in and become a part of your everyday life. Give your new-found fondness of working out a chance before you give up on it. There's no need to overdo it and burn yourself out, so start off slow in your first week and pick up the pace the further along you go. Buy a calendar and cross off each day of exercising until the end of six weeks, and odds are you'll be aching for more muscle burn.

Make an investment
If you really want to put yourself to the test, make a few purchases that will force you to financially justify your need for exercise. Pick up some aerobic or free weight equipment to try out at home, because they will serve as a guilt trip reminder if you wind up leaving them useless on the floor. Buy some new workout clothes and gear to look sharp while you get your sweat on. Purchase supplements, like a testosterone booster or a VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake to help you feel better inside and look fit on the outside.

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