How Long It Really Takes To Establish A Fitness Habit

Want to develop a consistent workout routine you’ll actually stick with? It’s probably going to take longer than you’d expect, according to new research. A study from researchers at Caltech, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania looks into habit formation and finds not all habit formation timelines are created equal. Some habits take longer to form, not just 21 days, as we’ve heard in the past.

For the study, researchers tracked gym badge swiping patterns of 30-thousand people using the 24 Hour Fitness gym chain over the course of four years. The results show that establishing a consistent gym habit takes roughly half a year. To really make it part of your routine, study authors say you have to consistently work on it for months, not just weeks.

To make it more likely you’ll actually stick with the workout, here’s what experts recommend:

  • Finding exercise that you love and that works for your life - There are a lot of variables that go into creating a fitness habit and everything from your previous gym history to your family obligations to how close you live to the gym can make a difference. Thinking about what you can realistically and conveniently fit into your life, as well as what will keep you going back, will help boost your success.
  • Put your workouts on your calendar - Treat the time like any other appointment so you’ll be more likely to make time for it.
  • Don’t get discouraged - Forming a habit isn’t a quick process, but don’t give up. Be as consistent as you can and eventually the routine will feel automatic.

Source: Huff Post

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