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Exercise Should Become a Habit

Fit Tip: Treat Exercise Like Brushing Your Teeth

When I first starting working out, someone once told me that I should treat working out just like I would brushing my teeth. I thought she was nuts, wondering how on earth she could compare the two minutes of brushing my teeth to the 45 minutes of agony at the gym. She put it to me like this: you wouldn't dare go longer than a day without brushing your teeth and you should get into the habit of feeling the same way about exercise.

And after many walks with my dog and trips to the gym, I now get it. Her point was that once you treat something as part of your routine and make it nonnegotiable, thinking about the way you would feel if you didn't do it (imagine how you'd feel if you just skipped brushing your teeth, gross), the more likely you are to do it. So start making being active (even if it's a 15 minute part of your routine), just like brushing your teeth.

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joannabanana88 joannabanana88 8 years
i like this idea, i just really don't enjoy working out!!! i've tried everything. perhaps if i just make it part of my routine for a while, i'll enjoy it
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I like that analogy. My husband doesn't understand how much I miss my workout on my day off from the gym. I tell him it's just something I do everyday like clockwork and if I miss it, I just don't feel right. I mean, I guess I occasionally skip a day of brushing my teeth too, but it feels so gross! I'm pretty glad that I did make working out a real habit that I do every day without thinking about it much.
elle619 elle619 8 years
As someone who is working on motivating myself to actually use my gym membership, this is a great analogy. Hopefully if I start thinking of it in these terms I can make the positive change :)
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 8 years
I've heard that analogy before. It's not really a novel idea to make fitness part of your routine, but I can see how some wouldn't have thought of it like that. I work out every M-F after I drink a glass of water and finish reading my email and rss feeds, before I start anything else. It's hard for me to enjoy doing anything fun if I don't feel like I 'earned' it by working out.
AmyKim AmyKim 8 years
I wake up at 5AM every morning and get a workout at the gym before work. This has become a routine and an automatic feeling. "We are what we repeatadly do, therefor excellence is not an act, but a habit." "When theres a will, theres a way." :)
rpenner rpenner 8 years
i couldn't imagine not going to the gym every day - these is a great analogy.
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 8 years
Great analogy!! Will definitely keep this in mind when I'm feeling lazy and tired... and the last thing I want to do is go to the gym.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i like that analogy. i'm used to going to the gym everyday and when i don't i feel exhausted/lethargic and the sort. i think that once you get into the routine of doing something, it becomes harder to break the habit, and you feel like you're not doing something right when you skip. now here's a question though - since most ppl don't go to the gym while they are on vacation - how do you explain how that's like brushing your teeth? should i not do that while i'm on vaca too? (just kidding)
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Going to the gym is really part of my lifestyle now. I have been doing it for well over a year now and those days when I don't go, I feel bad and restless!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Great advice!
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