Building an Exercise Habit

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Building an Exercise Habit

“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision but as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.”

James Clear, Atomic Habits

In order to get in better shape and meet any necessary weight loss goals, it’s all about developing new habits. And, as the above quote from the New York Times Best Selling book Atomic Habits states, it’s all done, one day at a time.

If you are new to working out, a good start is to set goals that you will be able to meet without a ton of effort and motivation ( which is something that needs to be developed over time).

One of the easiest ways to start exercising is to take your exercise goals and break them into small exercise segments that you are likely to do. Then you can build up a longer exercise plan over time.

Author James Clear writes about this concept in Atomic Habits. Clear writes that it’s important to split your exercise plan into easily obtainable chunks because when something is easy, we’re more likely to do it. And, by doing the exercise daily, no matter how little at a time, we will begin to build new habits.

So what does breaking a workout into segments look like?

It could look different depending on what it is you ultimately want to achieve. For example, if you want to start walking on the treadmill regularly, rather than plan to walk for 30 minutes a day, five days a week- change it to “I’m going to walk on the treadmill for 5 minutes.”

Then you can build from there.

Maybe the next day you will walk on the treadmill for 2 sets of 5 minutes, with a little break in between. Then 3 sets of 5 minutes, 4 sets of 5 minutes, until you reach your 30-minute goal.

If you need to, you can even make your daily goal smaller.

Whatever it is, just make the goal something that you will actually do.

You might be thinking, ” Why should I develop an exercise plan, especially when I’m dealing with the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis?”

That’s a great question, and to better answer it, you may want to check out studies like this one.

Studies have shown that people who regularly participate in land-based exercises such as walking, rate their knee pain to be 10 to 15% less than people who do not exercise. Even more, it has been discovered that those who exercised regularly need less pain medication, and in many cases, none at all.

In our next article, we will take a look at some of the exercises that can benefit your knee health. And, we will offer some suggestions as to how it can be developed into an exercise habit. A habit that will benefit your body, your mind, and of course, your knees.


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