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5-Step Plan for Making Exercise a Habit

5-Step Plan for Making Exercise a Habit

Exercise has immense benefits, from cardiovascular fitness to lowering stress, but how do you to find the time, motivation, and consistency to get these benefits? If you’re just starting out, ditch the gym, fancy yoga classes, and scheduled group runs. Instead, focus on making exercise a habit first, and once you lock down a consistent exercise habit, consider adding them into your routine. The best part is that creating this habit is much easier than it seems.

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    5 Steps for Making Exercise a Habit

    1. Plan for Success

    In order to really commit to a new exercise plan, make a long term goal and set a date for achievement. Your goal could be related to time, distance, or new skill. Examples include holding a one minute plank, running a 5k, or a yoga headstand. Next, break down that big goal into weekly goals. Now, break the weekly goals into daily micro goals. Which brings us to the next step.

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      2. Make it daily

      Yes, even on the weekends – and here’s why: I know I’m not alone in making three-days per week running plans, while only running once or twice. Working late unexpectedly, rainy weather, or hanging out with friends easily derails these three day plans, especially as a beginner. Alternatively, commit to 10 minutes of exercise every. single. day. You can always find ten minutes in a day, and anyone who has done 1 minute of burpees can attest that it doesn’t take much time to spike your heart rate. If you go two weeks with no zero days, consider upping your duration by five minutes every week you hit all seven days, until you hit your desired length.

      3. Timing is Everything

      You have tons of habits and routines throughout your day. How you get ready for work, how you prepare to go out, what you do on Saturday mornings. The best way to ensure your new exercise habit sticks is by incorporating it into your existing routine. Decide on what activity will immediately precede your chosen exercise. For me, it is boiling the water for tea each morning. After I start the water, I do my ten minutes of yoga and stretching, I don’t even think about when to fit it in anymore.

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        4. Create a cue

        A cue will help push you over the edge when faced with the decision to exercise. It is often related to the timing, discussed above. When I first started doing yoga each morning, I unrolled my yoga mat in the kitchen (the only place I have room to practice) every night so that I could not forget about my goal in the morning. Other people find laying out their exercise clothes by the bed helps them roll out of bed and into workout clothes without thinking each morning. Find a good cue that works for you.

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          5. Celebrate

          Celebrating your successes when reaching milestones is key to forming a habit. A simple, non-food reward is printing out a blank calendar and marking an X each day you when you finish your exercise. After a few days, you get the added incentive to keep the streak going!

          Now that you have a good strategy for making exercise a habit, it’s time to get moving!

          Featured photo credit: Positive Mornings via positivemornings.com

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          Published on June 7, 2019

          10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

          10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

          Having a hard time going to the gym? Fear no more!

          In this article, we’ll be breaking down 10 in home lower body workouts anyone can try at home and their exercises. No gear needed for these workouts, just some space and a cup water waiting for your disposal.

          There’re 3 main parts in this article:

          If you’re familiar with the basic lower body exercises, just get into the first section 10 Lower Body Workouts That Can Be Done Anywhere right away.

          If you want more guidance on the basics, check out the second section Lower Body Exercises Breakdown.

          And the last section is about what you should do before and after working out.

          10 Lower Body Workouts That Can Be Done Anywhere

          If you’re familiar with the basic lower body exercises, just read on this section.

          If you’d like to have more guidance on each exercise listed in these 10 workouts, take a look at the following part Lower Body Exercises Breakdown.

          1. The Starter Workout

          3 sets of 8-12 reps of:

          • Squat
          • Single Leg Deadlift
          • Glute Bridge

          (30 sec to 2 min rest in between each set)

          2. The 7 Minute Workout

          3 rounds of 30 seconds of each exercise:

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          • Walking Lunges
          • Quarter Squat
          • Step Up
          • Single Leg Deadlift

          (1 min rest in between each round)

          3. The Unilateral Workout

          4 sets of 16 reps of:

          • Reverse Lunges
          • Single Leg Deadlift
          • Skater Squat
          • Single Leg Glute Bridge

          (30 sec to 1 min rest in between each set)

          4. The Endurance Workout

          2 sets of 20-50 reps of:

          • Squat
          • Walking Lunge
          • Single Leg Deadlift
          • Glute Bridge

          (1-2 min rest in between each set)

          5. The Back To Back Lower Body Workout

          5 rounds of 10 to 20 seconds of each exercise:

          • Skater Squat
          • Step Up
          • Single Leg Deadlift
          • Single Leg Glute Bridge
          • Quarter Squat

          (30 min rest in between each round)

          6. Strength Lower Body Workout

          5 to 10 sets of 4 reps of:

          • Walking Lunge
          • Single Leg Deadlift
          • Squat

          (30 sec to 2 mins of rest time in between set)

          7. Glute Burner Workout

          4 sets of 10-30 reps of:

          • Walking Lunge
          • Single Leg Deadlift
          • Single Leg Glute Bridge
          • Quarter Squat

          (1 min of rest time in between set)

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          8. The Advance Lower Body Workout

          3 rounds of 20 seconds of:

          • Squat
          • Walking Lunge
          • Skater Squat
          • Reverse Lunge
          • Glute Bridge
          • Single Leg Deadlift

          (2 mins of rest time in between set)

          9. The Quick Lower Body Workout

          2 sets of 10 reps of:

          • Reverse Lunge
          • Step Up
          • Single Leg Deadlift

          10. The 100 Repetition Challenge

          2 sets of 50 reps on each leg of:

          • Walking Lunge
          • Single Leg Deadlift

          (4 mins of rest time in between set)

          Lower Body Exercises Breakdown

          Here’s the breakdown of the lower body exercises[1] that you found in the workouts listed in the first section of this article.

          1. Squat

            A squat is a compound movement which entails the recruitment of a majority of your lower body (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, spinal erectors).

            How to squat:

            Feet shoulder width apart or a little wider. Toes pointed slightly out, arms out in front of you. Sit into your heels till you hit parallel with your butt and knee, drive through the heels, return to starting position and repeat.

            2. Walking Lunges

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              A lunge is a complex movement which recruits mainly the lower body.

              The walking lunges are a harder version of a split squat which is stationary and then adds the component of stepping and keeping balance which engages the gluteus medius as well as allowing a larger range of motion.

              3. Reverse Lunge

                A reverse lunge is very similar to the split squat but instead, after every rep, you are returning to the starting position and stepping back.

                By reverse stepping, you are allowing for a better emphasis on the hamstrings and gluteal muscles as opposed to the quadriceps muscles in a forward stepping lunge.

                4. Quarter Squat

                  A quarter squat is the top ¼ movement of a squat. This will work mainly the gluteal muscles as it emphasizes the hip extension and not a lot of range of motion on the quadriceps muscles.

                  5. Skater Squat

                    A skater squat is a unilateral variation of the squat, this squat really engages the gluteus medius and hamstrings as it works unilateral stability and hip flexion which fires both the hamstrings and glutes.

                    6. Step Up

                      The Step Up is the greatest balance of getting the glutes and quadriceps muscles firing. Doing Step Ups will not only get the glutes going, but the quadriceps as well.

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                      7. Glute Bridge

                        Glute Bridges are a great way to nearly isolate the glutes and build a great butt. This entire movement works through hip extension which the main movement of the gluteal muscles.

                        8. Single Leg Glute Bridge

                          Single leg glute bridge ensures that we are evenly building the glutes and not relying too heavily on our dominant leg and symmetrical butt. The step up can be done in a chair or a step in the stairs

                          9. Single Leg Deadlift

                            Single Leg RDL’s engage that entire booty and hamstrings, especially the gluteus medius due to its unilateral stability property. This is a great way to spice up some routine deadlifts.

                            Before & After Working Out

                            Before engaging in any physical activity, consult a doctor if you have not worked out in years. However, if you want to go at it without consulting a doctor, start slow and build your way up. Even though it’s home workout, use dynamic stretching or some light jogging[2] as a warm up before starting the lower body workouts.

                            Finally, at the end of the lower body workout, use static stretching to reduce injuries and to calm down your heart rate gradually.

                            Featured photo credit: Gesina Kunkel via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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