I know a lot of people struggle to maintain exercise habits, and we all know that this leads to lack of energy, depression, weight gain and a load of other health issues. I myself used to hate it exercising, but take it from me. I have been through countless diet and exercise fads before I realised that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the easiest way to get results. I have made a list of the 6 top strategies to ensure you maintain exercise habits. I hope you guys can use these tips and never have to go through the trial and errors that I have! Small steps are the biggest steps. The smaller the goal, the easier it is to score. Aim to take baby steps rather than big leaps. Starting with 10 minutes of easy exercise, such as yoga, is a great way to make it a habit. It will be super easy, so you will be able to do it no matter what! Rather than that hour of yoga that you plan to do, but never seems to get done. Aim for 10 minutes. Flick on a short youtube video at the same time every day, after you brush your teeth in the morning for instance. Once it becomes a habit, you can begin to take larger steps and increase the length of time. Quality over quantity. Over-exercising can not only increase the chance of injury. Scientific research shows that exercising too much can actually have reverse effects such as exhaustion and depression. Going for an hour run without a warm-up while unfit and tired may cause you to run in poor form. A more maintainable option may be to go for 20 minutes in correct form, and take the extra time before and afterwards for a proper warm up to prevent injury. An injury is the last thing you need when trying to create exercise habits, so focus on the quality of your workouts over quantity. Slowly but surely. As we begin exercising as a habit, the human bodies fitness levels will increase naturally, This is a crucial part of forming an exercise habit as it creates positive feelings and helps create a healthy relationship with exercise. The slower you go the more likely you are to maintain the habit. Building up exercise habits at a slower pace is more effective than moving into it too fast, being overwhelmed and giving up. Know yourself. Planning a 45-minute walk tomorrow at 6 am? Do you usually go walking? What about waking up at 6 am? If not, you may be a little ‘off’ from your goals. Although this goal sounds good as an idea, in reality, it is an odd puzzle piece in comparison to your normal routine. Consider what you already do or enjoy and build on that. You might dance when you do the dishes in the morning, so you could try a 15-minute dance session and increase the timing from there. Realy knowing yourself is important. Just because everybody else is doing it, doesn’t mean it works for you. So get to know yourself. Work out what does to get the results that you want. Reflect logically. If you keep failing at something over and over, reflect on the situation logically. Reflecting is a great way to find your pain points and do better in the future. Try by having a small discussion with yourself. Asking ‘why’ is a good place to start. Why don’t I ever want to go to the yoga class? I am comfortable on the couch. Why did I plan to go to the yoga class? To improve my back pain. Do you still have back pain? Yes. What are you going to do to fix it? Go to the yoga class. I love these little conversations with myself they realy help me feel more grounded and stop self-sabotaging myself. Don’t do things you hate. Just because you hate running doesn’t mean you have to challenge it now. When starting out this is not the time to challenge yourself, and by doing something you hate so early, it could contribute to failure due to self- sabotage. There are plenty of other cardio options, and I can guarantee you, you can find something you will enjoy more than something you hate. If you hate sterile indoor environments, consider hiking or swimming. On the contrary, if you hate getting dirty or wet, go to the gym! Live doing what you love. Guys let me know, can you think of any strategies that I may have missed? Maybe you tried these and they didn’t work for you? Let me know in the comments below!