Exercise! - Habits and forming them. (kinda long)

05-11-2007, 01:27 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm not sure if I've got this in the right spot so if not I'm sorry for the moving hassle. Anyway I was wondering if any of you know how long it takes to develop a habit? How many times do you need to repeat something before it becomes automatic? I'm hoping to make exercise a habit and knowing how often I'm going to have to perform a certain movement before I stop thinking about it would be a great motivator. I've read a few online sources that say habits take 12 days to form, a month to form, three months to form. Basically I got nothing concrete. The only interesting thing was a scientific study on how the brain develops a habit. Did you know that positive reinforcement works much better than negative? They have scientific proof and they think they've found the source of habits in the brain. But I digress. Anyway I'm hoping someone has more concrete info and I really appreciate everyones help.

05-11-2007, 01:38 PM
For me personally, it takes about 10 days of exercising regularly for it to become a habit. Now I wake up and there's no question in my mind of sleeping in, I just get up and go!

05-11-2007, 02:49 PM
I was thinking this about WW. I really want this to become a hbait for me so i can commit to it for life. The way of eating can easily be accomplished i just have to stick to it rigidly until it's embedded. To be honest i don't knw how long it will take to become a habit but i'm willing to try and find out. With excercising i always find doing it every other day makes it become a habit very easily it's just the initial first steps thats hard...after 2 weeks it's embedded

05-11-2007, 05:19 PM
For me personally, it takes about 10 days of exercising regularly for it to become a habit. Now I wake up and there's no question in my mind of sleeping in, I just get up and go!

I agree...Its such a habit for me now to wake up and exercise and just do my routine over again.

05-12-2007, 07:19 PM
I've made exercise my habit for almost 5 weeks now... and i was soooo lazy before. I make sure I go to the gym 5 days a week. I think my habit came about within a week but that was also because I had a friend doing the same thing for support.

05-13-2007, 12:03 AM
For me...after being a regular exerciser for many years I have to say it takes me a week or two to get back in the groove, but the first time it took longer.

BUT it still only takes a few days to a week to go back to the old lazy habits if something like illness interrupts.

05-13-2007, 03:42 AM
Amen to how fast you go back to lazy habits. Glad to hear that it doesn't take too long to create a habit. I've just barely mastered daily supplements. Even then I occasionally forget.

05-13-2007, 11:22 AM
It takes as long as it takes. For some, it may be the 10 days someone mentioned. For others, you may NEVER develop a total habit. Like me. I could EASILY slip back out of exercise, even though I've been doing it fairly regularly now for 4 years. I can find myself getting busy and forgetting to exercise sometimes and I have to make myself go do it, find a way to get in some type of exercise. I feel better when I exercise, I like that feeling, so I want to keep at it. I don't want pounds to creep back. But just out of habit, without thinking about it? Not yet.

05-14-2007, 09:02 PM
I agree with almostheaven - I don't think exercise will ever become a habit for me. A few months ago, I went to the gym 4 days a week for 6 weeks, thinking that that would be enough to make it a habit, but a few weeks after that I feel out of it and got off track. Maybe if I found something that I was really passionate about, then things would be different, but I don't know. I hope you find something that works for you :)

05-14-2007, 10:37 PM
Smisen, I hope you didn't continue to stay out of it and off track. Just find something else. When you see yourself getting off track again, again find something else. There's an endless supply of exercise equipment, videos, and just exercise in general out there. Try yoga one month, aerobics the next, go jogging for a month, bike riding for one, jump rope and hoola hoop another. Just keep it changing and interesting. That's what I have to do.

05-30-2007, 05:32 PM
Thanks for all the thought provoking replies. I know I can be obsessive and stick to something for a while but eventually I get distracted and forget. It's hard to make something permament. Ah the joys of a poor memory and a short attention span. But if I do something long enough I can stick with it. Like cutting my soda consumption down to one a day. Took me forever to do and I still slip up but the good days far outnumber the bad days. It seems like I can change if I don't do it all at once. Little changes here and there. I'm not sure if that makes sense. Anyway keep it coming and I love hearing what works and what doesn't.

05-31-2007, 01:25 AM
Aye, it really depends on the people, I think. 10 days are really not enough for me to turn exercising into a habit. The heck, three or six months weren't enough either. The thing that works well for me, though, is to iinclude it in my time-table. I put "1 hour of this, 30 mins of that" along my "English phonetics 101" class on my wall planning, and I just do it. After all, I take pleasure in attending classes, so it's still a positive thing to link exercise too.

(Speaking of which, my bank placed an appointment for me right in the middle of my weight-lifting session, so now that I've realized that, I'll need to cancel. The appointment, that is, not the exercise. :p)