Our Trampoline Zone Makes Exercise A Habit
January 21, 2020
8 tips to turn your exercise resolution into a habit.
It’s not that you don’t want it bad enough. Of course you want to lose weight, get more active, eat better. So why is it so hard to turn that New Year’s resolution into a new life habit?
Well, if you’ve managed to stick with your new exercise regimen even this long, congratulations! According to Strava, a social network for athletes, January 17th seems to be the day when many people’s good intentions begin to wane. (Yes, just 17 days in!).
How do you bridge the divide between intention and doing? Here are eight tips from decision-making experts that can help nudge you toward better, longer-lasting habits.
1. Give it a month.
Commit to about four weeks of exercise, and research suggests that this can help you build a new routine. A randomized controlled trial done by the University of Pennsylvania showed that people who exercised for 28 days were more likely to be exercising 10 months later.
There’s no magic number of days to build a new habit, of course. But the key to building habits is repetition, and getting that repetition going while you have high motivation is probably your best chance to create behavioral changes that last.
2. Try temptation bundling.
Combine something you crave with something that’s healthy and you’ll be more likely to want to do that healthy thing.
Love Real Housewives? Want to catch the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm? Indulge only while you exercise, so you look forward to your workouts.
3. Set goals, but temper expectations.
Make sure your exercise objective is achievable and ambitious, but give yourself a free pass or two if you fail to meet it exactly.
Miss a trip to the gym? Take a mulligan. Still haven’t done that 6-minute mile? Don’t stress. The goal on the way to your goal is to avoid throwing in the towel.
4. Be creative with conditioning.
Exercise doesn’t just happen in a gym or a weight room. Any exercise is better than sitting on the couch!
If you’ve ever belonged to a health club, you know how hard it can be to stay motivated. Waiting for machines, fighting the crowds, doing the same exercises over and over and over. No wonder they measure weight training in repetitions!
Exercise should be fun! At Supercharged Entertainment in Wrentham, we’re helping people get active with interesting and exciting activities they don’t have to force themselves to do.
RUN through our Ninja Wipeout Arena, with big red balls and dynamic warped walls straight out of TV’s American Ninja Warrior.
JUMP into our Trampoline Zone, with over a dozen floor-level trampolines.
And DUNK from one basket to the other in our specially designed Dunk Court.
5. Let flexibility be your friend.
Is it more effective to work out at the same time every day, or be more fluid with your exercise routine?
You might expect that adhering to a stricter schedule is a better way to build the fitness habit. According to the UPenn study, it’s true that those who work out at the same time every day do form a more lasting habit around exercising at that time. But . . . that’s the only time they ever work out.
As a result, if they miss that time during the day, they miss working out.
Instead, the study recommends a more flexible approach to workout times. Remember: Building a fitness habit is hard enough, without changing your entire schedule around to accommodate it.
6. Go out and play.
If you have kids, the best thing you can give them is your time. Make it fun and healthy for both of you.
Play with them outside. Walk the dog. Play catch. Ride bikes.
Or, take them to Supercharged Entertainment for heart-racing activities you won’t find anywhere else, from our Ninja Wipeout Arena to high-speed karting on the world’s largest multi-level indoor track.
7. Make it social.
Research shows that habits, good and bad, spread through our social networks. If friends aren’t supportive of your new fitness goals – or worse, are at the heart of your less-than-positive behavior – is can be a lot harder to reach them.
Try scheduling your exercise with a like-minded friend. You’ll be more motivated to go to the gym, and more likely to show up.
8. Put your money where your girth is.
Money can be a big motivator, so put it to work for you.
Set up a “contract” with your future self to follow through on your goals. Pay off the bet to yourself if you meet your goal. If not, consider sending the bet amount to a charity near to your heart. One website, stickK.com, lets you set up a contract to give your money to a designated person or charity if you don’t live up to your commitments.
What makes this strategy work is that humans are risk averse: We hate to give up something, like money, that we’ve already earned. In fact, according to Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, we’re motivated twice as much by losses as by gains.