Habits and Exercise Adherence, Ways to Develop New Habits

Habits and Exercise Adherence:


We are going to discuss following aspects regarding habits and exercise adherence

  •          Good Habits Structure
  •          What is exercise adherence
  •  How can we adhere to exercise programs
  •   How habits help in adhering to exercise
  •          Eliciting patient’s perspective
  •  Impact of Unproductive Habits on Injury
  •  How to Deconstruct Bad habit
  •  How to build new ?
  •  Impact of No Habit Structure
Habits and Exercise Adherence

What is a structure of good habits?
A behavior that is productive to one’s physical and mental health. Often linked to a high level of discipline and self-control. Examples for good include Regular exercise, balanced diet, monogamy, sleep on time and  playing outdoors. If you want to develop a good habit. You need to set a cue in your mind. Initially by planning it and then setting a reward for which you are craving for. It will motivate you to accomplish the tasks though it will take time and energy  but once you get adapt. You will keep going on. 

Best Habits Baseline:

Best habits comes not from leaders, but comes from interaction of leaders and frontline. The best disciplines are: 1.  Focus on important (set clear targets) 2.  Create a compelling scorecard (measure them) 3.  Translate high goals into specific actions (break them down) 4.  Hold each other explicable, all the time (get them done)
“Don’t make Resolutions Build Habits”(Ref: Covey’s Legacy)
Exercise adherence is a term used to describe how well a patient or client is sticking to: Their gym program Their home exercise program.  However, long-term adherence to physical activity is essential to facilitate and maintain the associated health benefits. 

Neuroscientists Research about Habits:

Neuroscientists found that basal ganglia plays key role in development of habits. Neuroscience identifies that neural pathway, brain chemicals, are involved in switching between decision making and habitual behavior. Having a daily routine that incorporates physical activity also helps enable regular exercise. 
By the start of the new year. In January people are very enthusiastic and determined for exercise programs. Many of them join gyms. Yet many who embark on fitness resolution in the new year. They struggle to adhere with there exercise habits but 80% of the resolutions fail by February. But good habits helps adhering exercise programs.

Stages of Habits:

Your habits run through four stages in an order i.e. cue, craving, response and reward. That four step model is backbone of all habits. Your brain runs through these four stages everyday (Ref: James Clear)
“Make Good Habits and They will Make You”(Ref: Parks Cousins)
• Perform an active warm up/warm down every session to minimize injuries • It’s important to rely on habits and Limit your excuses (time/laziness) – if training in the afternoon after work is tough, design all the training sessions in the morning before work • Train with a friend to help motivation • Goal setting   • self-monitoring programs
How can you adhere to an exercise program? But what does it take to stay motivated? 
Learn new activity:  The new challenge will keep you coming back to meet the next challenge.
Different activities:   Rather than doing the same thing daily, do different activities.

When we comes to the question. What is the benefit of eliciting from the patient. Why they might want to create a new or more productive habit?

“eliciting the patient’s perspective”

Yes, It is beneficial to elicit from the patient, Patient-centered interviewing is an increasingly important aspect of medical education. It leads to an ambiguous diagnosis and interpretations. Patients have suffered a lot during diseased period. They are passionate to get rid of that unhealthy life. And they want to create a more productive and useful habits structure.
Impact of Unproductive Habits on Injury:
Bad habits results in negative impacts on person’s physical and mental health and prevents the patient from making progress following are the unproductive habits that slows down recovery:
 Withdrawing from Friends and Family  Making Excuses to Yourself  Not Building Coping Mechanisms for Stress  Not Calling Your Sponsor  Slipping Back into Old Routines and  Not Taking Care of Your Health

How to Deconstruct Bad habit:

Bad habits have detrimental effects on health in the long run. According to 21/90 rule. It takes about 21 days to make a new habit and get rid of old and 90 days to make it a part of your life. We can deconstruct bad habits by the following acts: 
᧐ See yourself succeeding ᧐ Set goals for yourself ᧐ Think positively᧐ overcome negative self talk᧐ Cut out as many triggers as possible ᧐ You need to replace bad habits᧐ 20 push-ups before shower ᧐ Do 2 minutes of strengthening exercise waiting for coffee᧐ 2 min stretching during TV breaking᧐ 1 minute body relaxation after parking car 

Golden Circle for Habits And Exercise Adherence:

Simon Sinek presents a Golden Circle for behavior/habit change taking brain in consideration. Behavior change is all linked with our Limbic System and Neocortex Behavior/Habit change. It involves three phases:
1.Why/ Identity (Limbic System) Worldview, Beliefs, purpose, cause, self-image, who you wish to become, why you do it, Driving force behind everything we do. 2.How / Processes (Limbic System) Actions we take, what you do, systems, routine 3.What/ Outcomes (Neocortex)       Tangible manifestation of our why, what you want to achieve, Results.
“Habits are more powerful than fears”(Ref: Simon Sinek)

How Can We build Habits and Exercise Adherence:

For example, you are triggered to have smoke because you crave reward of stress reduction.  Now, instead of putting a cancer stick in your mouth. You do a breathing exercise or meditate to reduce your stress. (Reference: the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg)
 Pick only one habit to start with
 Remove all barriers around doing it
Notice positive changes happening
 Do it despite mental resistance
 Acknowledge yourself for doing it
 Practice unless you feel ease with that
 Then start a new activity
We can build new habits as David Allen presented his Get things Done (GTD) method. By emphasizing on: Discover true purpose, Define Productivity, Belief about link between spiritual discovery & productivity. (Ref: Get Things Done by David Allen)

Impact of No Habit Structure:

Habits structure is very conventional in one’s life, if you lack habits structure in your life. (i.e. proper exercise plan, diet plan, sleep and work routine). It will have bad impact on your daily life. You will not utilize time properly and will get bored and sick. You should know about the targets. You need to hit to be satisfied by the end of the day.

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