The Power of Routine—From Effort to Lifestyle Habit

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This is another post in our series of Fitness Saturday exercises, workouts, and expert tips appropriate to women in the second half of life. Jonathan Urla, a certified advanced health and fitness specialist, shares surefire ways to make exercise a regular part of your lifestyle — even as we embark on a frenzied holiday season.


One of the most important things that determine the success of your exercise program is consistency in your workouts. It is also one of the hardest things to establish. The excuse I hear most frequently for why people don’t exercise is that they don’t have the time. But many people exercise regularly and their lifestyle parameters are similar to those who still think they can’t find the time. Even for the busy urban professional or soccer shuttling mom, there are surefire ways to make exercise a regular part of your lifestyle.

  • Schedule your workout time in your calendar. Just like your other appointments that you make to get your haircut, see the doctor, meet a friend, etc., you have to mark out the time. If you just say you’ll get to it when you have a break, it’ll never happen. Pick a time and stick to it! Ideally, people are more consistent when they exercise first thing in the morning. Evening exercise is still good in terms of the benefits, but things can come up during the day that may force you to change plans. Morning workouts allow you to get your exercise in before anything else happens.
  • Keep a workout diary. Any small notebook will do (try the soft cover notebooks from Poppin) and you just have to record the date, what type of exercise you did, and for how long. Studies show that when people track or measure their efforts, they exercise more and enjoy it more. We like to see the results of our efforts, and tracking what you do for exercise gives immediate gratification. Self-monitoring with a log also helps you keep on a healthy nutrition plan, but I’ll save weight management for another article.

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