It’s All In the Mind: A Look at the Psychology Behind Maintaining a Fitness Regime


It’s no secret that starting and keeping up with an exercise program takes discipline and willpower.

Sticking to an exercise program also requires planning and motivation. While exercise can help a person look and feel better, medical experts have created a set of guidelines to ensure people get into the habit of exercising regularly and maintain that habit over time.

Guidelines for Developing an Exercise Routine

Anyone who has started an exercise routine and quit knows that it’s easy to come up with excuses.

The excuses can include everything from being too tired to inclement weather. Although these reasons may seem isolated to one day of skipped exercise, they can add up. This leads people to quit their routines. That’s why it’s critical to want to get and stay fit because of an inner desire to do so.

Those who are motivated to hit the gym because they think it will help them become physically attractive or because they think the results will please someone else are usually the ones that end up quitting.

To get results from an exercise routine, consistency and time are key factors. When results don’t happen fast enough or in the way the person originally envisions, the person can become discouraged. It’s also important to be realistic about what improvements exercise can do for a person’s body and to pair the efforts with a healthy diet.

In fact, starting slow is key to managing expectations and strain on the body. If someone tries to do too much too fast, injuries can happen.

Those injuries could cause a person to have to sit out for days or weeks while healing takes place. Working up to bigger and better challenges also provides a sense of accomplishment and a reason to keep going.

Another crucial aspect is to mix up the routine, which can mean incorporating different types of cardio and strength exercises as well as indoor and outdoor workouts.


One of the ways to stick to a workout regimen is to keep track of what workouts are done, how many, and when.

For instance, develop and document a plan to visit the gym three days a week for at least thirty minutes. Then chart whether those workouts were done. If those activities were not done, document that as well and monitor progress over time.

Some people will document if they missed a workout, the reason for missing the activity, and plan a make-up session. Getting friends and family involved can also help with accountability.

Reward System

Including a built-in reward system can keep a person on track. However, it’s important to keep those rewards aligned with healthy choices.

Many people choose to reward themselves with an activity they enjoy, such as going out to a movie or buying a new book. Rewards should be taken advantage of as a person meets his or her goals and milestones.

For example, a small reward can be given for sticking to one’s planned routine. A bigger reward can be given once that person has been exercising consistently for six months. See more over at

Starting and maintaining an exercise routine might seem overwhelming, but when a person breaks the overall objective down into smaller goals, it can easily be accomplished.

Exercising for the right reasons and starting out with small steps is critical to achieving success. Don’t forget to plan, document, and reward as that exercise routine takes off.


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