Gyms and Fitness Clubs

How to Make Exercise a Habit: 4. You must have perseverance


Calvin Coolidge once said, "Your ability to face setbacks and disappointment without giving up will be the measure of your ability to succeed." How true is this? I guarantee you will face setbacks as you progress through your exercise program. There will be days when you have to miss a workout, maybe even a week or two where you go without exercising. This isn't the end of the world. Just don't give up!

For all of you who are worried about taking a few days off and losing what you've gained, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Studies have shown that muscle strength can be maintained with an occasional lapse of as much as 10 to 14 days.

Kicking yourself with comments like, "Here I go again, another missed workout" will get you nowhere. This happens often during the early part of January. People like to make resolutions to begin an exercise program. For the first few days or even a week they do well and stick to it. However, the next week comes along and things get busy, so a workout or two is missed. Feeling bad, they slap their heads and get upset. This leads to a feeling of failure and eventually, if enough workouts are skipped, the end of their desire to work out.

Instead of getting frustrated, just pick yourself up and get started again. Don't worry about it. You waste more energy getting upset with yourself than it takes to work out.

Being successful with creating a new habit like exercise has a lot to do with perseverance. Those that succeed are the ones that overcome the little setbacks and press on. Some habits can be formed in a few hours while others may take months. Exercise is one of those habits that takes a little longer. You have to be willing to persevere.

I devote a majority of the final chapter in this book to the importance of perseverance when trying to make exercise a habit.

Fact vs. Fiction

  • Fiction: If you don't weight train for a week you'll lose muscle.
  • Fact: It takes nearly four weeks without weight training for muscle to atrophy.