Instigating a Plan For Regular Exercise

Most of us probably think of the word “instigate” as having a negative meaning, like a secret plan to cause trouble. But, the dictionary defines “instigate” simply as “provoking some action”, and researchers at Iowa State University and King’s College London found a very positive use of the word when it comes to exercising.

The study wanted to determine whether the motivation to get regular exercise was more associated with an “execution habit” (the type of activity a person plans to do) or an “instigation habit” (something that signals a person that it’s time to exercise, no matter what the activity). And, they found it is the “instigation habit” that matters.

An “instigation habit” might be the alarm clock first thing in the morning for some, the end of the work day for others, or even during a particular television program. The researchers note that forming an “instigation habit” can take a month or more, but once a routine is set exercising regularly is more likely, even if you vary what you do from day to day.

Regular exercise is extremely important to diabetes management, but we all know it can be challenging. Why not take a close look at your typical day, and find a time when you’re most likely to devote some time to physical activity. Then, set an alarm every day for a month at that particular time, and ask yourself this specific question every time the alarm sounds – “Am I doing something now that’s more important that exercise?” If your answer is “no” (and most of the time it should be), take a walk or a bike ride or something else that just gets you moving. We all know that bad habits are hard to break – so are good habits.

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