Exercise Hack: The Easiest Way to Start and Maintain an Exercise Routine

Posted by Eric Lee on December 07, 2017

I used to hate anything physically related and I didn’t enjoy participating in any sports. Exercising was tiresome, takes up time, and wasn’t fun at all. My health suffered as I got sick easily. But that was then. These days, I go biking three times a week, more than an hour each time, and was more than happy to bike great distances and break a sweat. How was this possible? I’m not here to lecture and convince you of the benefits of exercising. Rather, I’m here to make you want to exercise by providing you with psychological hacks.

The hack:

I didn’t start exercising because my health was suffering or because people said I should. Rather, I got started because I hacked exercising to be compelling and immediately worthwhile.

Here are three things you can do:

1. Know yourself and find your matching physical activity

The exercise you want to get into the habit of doing should match your personality and skills. If you’re extroverted, you could get started with a team sport and if you’re introverted, jogging, swimming, and biking will make better choices. Your coordination skills matter as well. Physically uncoordinated like me? Don’t try something like basketball or tennis. Frustration with the activity will only put you off and you won’t be able to stick with the activity for long no matter how hard you try (if you enjoy the sport however, go on ahead!)

As an introverted and uncoordinated individual that loves speed, I found myself stuck to biking after unsuccessful attempts to get into basketball, tennis, and swimming. Know thyself, and you’ll know thy sport.

2. Guarantee yourself satisfaction

Something during your exercise sessions should be immediately rewarding. As human beings, we’re built to acknowledge the pleasures that come immediately more than the long term benefits. Know that your local gym has some real hot girls and/or guys? Go ahead, signup and workout alongside them! I’m not kidding, as long as you don’t make them uncomfortable, you’ll be more than happy to work out and enjoy their presence. Like meeting and talking to new people? Go jogging on paths with high volumes of joggers. 

My immediate joy in biking comes from admiring the supercars of my city. Other than gaining the chance to spot a supercar on the road as I bike, I set my destination as the McLaren dealer in my city, which is 4 miles away from where I live, encouraging myself to bike 8 miles in total. There’s lots of room to be creative.

3. Challenge yourself

The rush you get when achieving something is an incredible feeling. It’s actually provides quite the motivation as well. When starting out, start small, don’t stress yourself out too much: the key is just to get started. Want to start jogging? Start with a 10 min jog or fast walk. Then challenge yourself by making just 3 min increases to each jogging session. After a month, you’ll find yourself jogging for more than an hour every session. You can then challenge yourself to increase speed and intensity, running faster and shortening your sessions. In just a couple of months you’ll find yourself up and moving, happier, less stressed, and a whole lot healthier.

Since I bike for a set distance, I challenge myself to complete my laps faster, which not only saves time but also tones my body.

Got any hacks of your own? Leave it in the comments below!

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