We have the best intentions to exercise each day, but why is it that sometimes it just doesn’t happen? We’re motivated, and we know the benefits of getting our heart rate up, but the day seems to slip away. Does this sound like you?
Truly, you’re not alone.
For us, it’s been eight weeks in quarantine, and it’s honestly difficult to juggle all the things we have to get done in a day, including exercise. Let’s see if these 3 C’s could help make exercise a habit.
How to Make Exercise a Habit
1. Get Curious
The type of exercise you need right now might largely depend on your body constitution (or Dosha). For example, you might be someone who needs:
- long walks in nature,
- bursts of fast runs,
- or moderate level of exercise through videos.
I’ve found that I’m nourished with twenty-minute exercise videos at home, followed by a couple hours of bike riding in the afternoons (Vata). Whereas, I have friends who need intense boot camp exercises in the morning and long runs in the afternoons (Pitta). Other people might really struggle to get off the couch and pushing themselves for a long walk outside really lifts them up (Kapha).
Now more than ever, it’s important that we really learn what type of exercise suits our bodies. And it’s probably different from those we live with.
Take our Dosha Quiz to see if learning about your dominant body constitution (Vata, Pitta, or Kapha) might help bring clarity to what types of exercises would fit you best. Your children might be similar to you and your spouse, as well.
(Note that after you finish the Dosha quiz, you’ll be able to print out a free Dosha Healing Chart. If you’d like to dive deeper, look into the Dosha Cards for Grownups.)
2. Get Creative
When it comes to exercise, I just want to be told what to do—are you like that, too? So going to a gym and taking classes really worked for me. Not knowing when gyms are going to open up again makes me realize that I really have to figure out my new exercise routine at home… especially since I can’t stop eating! (Please tell me that I’m not alone with this.)
For the past eight weeks in quarantine, my daughter and I have tried various exercise videos and yoga practices—all in the spirit of finding out what we both like, so we can sustain the best routine for us.
Last week, I shared some warmup, workout, and dance videos that I hope are helpful. Or you might prefer to print out exercise workouts, like the Core Yoga Posters, that are available within the Home PE Pack where you hold each position for 30 seconds. Whether it’s videos, printables, or your own mix, let’s get creative!
Right before we went into quarantine, I read Tiny Habits: Small Changes that Change Everything by BJ Fogg. And I’m super excited to say that after using his simple behavior model, I’m now back meditating each morning. It was surprisingly simple!
Based on years of research, Fogg says that Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Prompt.
Applying that to exercise:
- Motivation: we all know the benefits of exercise
- Ability: we all have the ability to do some kind of exercise
- Prompt: we need a prompt to get it done. (This is the key one!)
To start my meditation practice again, I needed a prompt each day. As soon as I step my foot on the ground, I go over to my meditation cushion. I trained my brain to add that prompt each day. I didn’t focus on how long I would meditate, but just about getting on the cushion.
In terms of exercise, once my daughter is finished distance learning, we know that we do some kind of exercise video together. It’s written down in our mom school schedule (our prompt). We don’t focus on how long the videos are, but rather, just getting out the yoga mat and turning on a video. We often do multiple videos because we’re so into it!
Try this out—can you incorporate a prompt in your day to get the exercise done?
To review how to make exercise a habit:
- Get curious about what exercise best suits your body type.
- Get creative and try out lots of different exercise practices.
- Commit to a daily exercise routine by understanding your motivation (“why”), making it easy to do (“what”), and setting up a prompt (“how”).
Check Out Our Home PE Pack
Are you looking for more printables offering creative and engaging physical activities to get your children moving?
Check out our new Home PE Pack with five resources, including games, challenging yoga poses, active yoga sequences, and other engaging exercises to explore.
This pack was designed for:
- brain breaks throughout the day
- transition times between subjects
- indoor (or outdoor) recess and PE time
- an alternative to screen-based exercise programs
- when it’s simply time to get the wiggles and giggles out
This Home PE Pack is designed to get the whole family moving at home or for teachers to share on their distance-learning platforms.
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