Simple Fitness Habits That Stick!

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Landscape with words "Every day is a new start." Have you ever started working on a heavy goal only for it to roll back down the hill to crush you? I know that I have, especially when it comes to certain aspects of fitness. Cardio is one of the things that always gets me. Even though I could excel in that area, I will sometimes neglect it because it gets boring. After drawing upon many health and wellness resources at the American Council on Exercise and Cooperative Extension, I’ve learned that simple movements over time can keep me on track.

There are some basic habits that will keep you grounded as you set out on your fitness journey. The first is starting with the mind. When our mind is right, we often set ourselves up for continual success. Start with a positive mindset by establishing a positive “why” to define why you want to incorporate physical activity. This allows you to establish a culture of movement. You can then plan your exercise, keep pushing through when it’s hard, and maintain discipline wherever you go. The second habit is establishing a routine of moving. This means that you plan your workouts and you also develop a “back pocket plan” aka a backup plan in case there is a wrench thrown in your original plan. Start with simple movements that can be done anywhere and know modifications for those movements. Remember to be flexible and exhibit patience because things will get hard.

The next habit is looking at your environment and making the necessary changes to set it up so that it nudges you towards exercise. You can put your fitness equipment in a high-traffic area of yo

Two people running in a park

ur home. Make it a family thing by taking your kids to the park or coming up with fun activities that involve movement. Plan vacations and getaways that encourage movement such as hiking, walking, backpacking, kayaking, climbing, running around, or jumping. This habit reinforces the culture of movement that you’re building.

The last habit may not really be a habit but it is important. Seek accountability by getting yourself a workout buddy or joining a fitness group. Select someone who has your best interest in mind and who seeks to encourage you to get better. This person can also help you by challenging you and holding you to your commitments. If you decide to join a cycling group, exercise class, or sports team; there is a level of commitment and your group members are usually keen to keep you on track.

Here is a general outline for a workout schedule.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday




Strength training

light cardio

Cardio Rest Cardio

Strength training

light cardio

Get Outdoors: Park, Hiking, etc.



  1. How to Create New Habits That Stick, April 08, 2021
  2. 5 Habits That Will Help Increase Your Longevity, August 25, 2014.
  3. 3 Strategies for Sticking to Your Health and Fitness Goals, March 17, 2015.
  4. Press Room, Are Your Workouts Up To Snuff? ACE Lists Top Fitness and Workout Guidelines,  February 19, 2004.