“Keystone habits start a process that, over time, transforms everything.” Charles Duhigg
I begin every morning with exercise, typically 20-minutes, but if I am pressed for time, I will perform a 4-minute Tabata workout. I will listen to music or something inspirational during my session.
Exercise is more about feeling good than looking good. People that exercise regularly are much less likely to suffer from depression or other psychological ailments. “I tell people that going for a run is like taking a little bit of Prozac and a little bit of Ritalin because, like the drugs, exercise elevates these neurotransmitters. It’s a handy metaphor to get the point across, but the deeper explanation is that exercise balances neurotransmitters — along with the rest of the neurochemicals in the brain. And as you’ll see, keeping your brain in balance can change your life.” John J. Ratey
Daily exercise is a keystone habit because of its power to transform our lives. The benefits of regular exercise: less stress, increased patience, higher productivity, improved mood, focus, confidence, and impulse control lead to the development of multiple good habits. I believe it is because when we feel better, we do better. “Typically, people who exercise, start eating better, and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.” Charles Duhigg the Author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Exercising the willpower to workout daily, combined with the psychological and physiological benefits of regular exercise, improves our overall willpower and self-control. Getting up early will foster the habit of getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Your training program will increase the necessity of getting to bed sooner so you can wake up feeling fully recovered and energized. Your exercise routine will simultaneously improve your self-control, making it easier to say no to late-night TV so you can go to bed earlier. After a few days of performing your bedtime ritual of getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night, you’ll begin to feel better than you have in years. You’ll have increase focus, willpower, and vitality. A lack of sleep is closely linked to obesity because our cravings increase, and our willpower decrease when we suffer from chronic fatigue. The more rundown you feel from a lack of sleep, the more you will crave the quick energy fix that sugary foods provide.
[i] Oaten M, and Cheng K, “Longitudinal gains in self-regulation from regular physical exercise,” Br J Health Psychol. 2006 Nov; 11 (Pt 4):717-33.
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