Contributed by Sarah K.

Exercise can improve your life in many ways.  In addition to being good for your health, it helps alleviate depression, anxiety and stressYou are able to think more clearly and sleep better.  It also raises your energy level. So even if you want to lie down, exercising will actually give you more energy. But it is a difficult habit to adopt.  Here is how I managed to keep myself on track: 

Exercise on Mondays.  There is something psychological, perhaps it’s been ingrained through school and work, that you start something on Monday.  But, whenever you feel motivated to begin an exercise program, begin!

Never skip exercising two days in a row.  If you do skip one day, don’t skip the next.  If you skip two days in a row, it moves to three days, and so on.

Give yourself credit.  If you do skip a day the tendency is to beat yourself up mentally for it.  Instead, change your way of thinking and focus on when you did work out.  Congratulate yourself.

Get dressed for it.  Lace up your sneakers and put on your sweats. This helps you get ready mentally.

The ten-minute plan.  Tell yourself you have to do it for only ten minutes.  You can always stop after that but you probably won’t. 

Give up being perfect.  Work out in a way that is good enough.  You do not need to train for a marathon, be able to do the most difficult yoga positions and bench press 250 lb. Whatever you can do, do it.  Even a walk around the block at lunchtime is something.

Get support.  Having a personal trainer in your corner or a group of friends who are interested in being fit and healthy can help keep you motivated. I know my trainer has helped me keep my word to myself and stay on my fitness track!

What tips do you have to make exercising a habit? We invite you to share your ideas in the comment box below.