Easily Make Exercising Daily a Habit: It Helps With Stress Management and Your Leadership

Leadership deals with a lot of daily pressure and stress. If not managed, it can creep up on you and lead to host of problems: physically, emotionally, mentally. Stress can lead to making poor (or no) decisions or snapping at your employees.

One of better ways to manage stress is to make daily exercise a part of your daily routine. When we exercise throughout the week, we build our bodies, keeping our energy levels high, which makes for added productivity.

But exercise is also good for us in other ways. Exercise helps you to sleep better and keeps you generally healthier as you age. Exercise not only keeps your body in top form but leads to better moods and overall mental health. It keeps your brain primed so you feel ready to face any challenges that come in your day.

So how do you make exercise a daily habit? First off, start small – you don’t have to run a marathon in the beginning (you don’t have to be like Forest Gump).  Starting small will lead to feelings of accomplishment so you continue on.

Follow these step-by-step instructions, and you’ll be on the road to building this healthy habit in no time!

1. Set time aside in your schedule. Being deliberate about when you exercise means that it’s more likely to happen, even when life is busy. Also, it trains your body that it’s time to move at a specific time each day. Before long, you’ll find yourself craving movement and the many benefits it offers.

2. Use your smartphone. Set a reminder on your phone for when it’s time to exercise, so you don’t forget.

3. Prepare yourself. Lay out your exercise clothes and gear the night before so you can’t use the excuse that you don’t have time to find everything. Keep your exercise bag right near the door and ready to go.

4. Just leave when ready. Is it time to go? Don’t overthink it. Just go whether you feel like it or not. Your body will click into gear once you get started.

5. Take baby steps. By starting small, you won’t overwhelm yourself, or worse, do damage to a body not ready for a heavy workout. You can always increase your time/reps later when you become fitter.

6. Keep it fun and interesting. Noting screams boredom more than the same routine day after day. Mix up what you’re doing – run a new route or try a new exercise machine at the gym. Add dance, yoga, Pilates, or Zumba to your mix.  Adding new types of exercise also makes sure you are working all your different muscles. too.

7. Take a break – occasionally. As you build your new healthy habit, you don’t want to skip days. Consistency is key. However, it’s good to have the occasional lighter exercise day when you’ve recently upped your game or when you are especially tired or sick.

8. Track your progress – keeping a chart, checklist, calendar, etc. gives accountability so you can continue on with your routine. It can also show you progress and results (it’s helpful to track your sleep, mood, productivity in this).

Once you make exercise a daily habit, you’ll come to look forward to it. You won’t even think about it; you’ll just do it. With so much benefit, it’s obvious that keeping a daily exercise habit is essential to a happier and healthier you all-around.

“Exercise not only changes your body; it changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood.”  (author unknown)

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