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The term “senior citizen” can vary in meaning depending on who you’re talking to. Suffice it to say that if you are in your 60s, 70s, or 80s, you have reached a senior position as far as age is concerned. As you age, you naturally lose muscle mass and strength. In order to enjoy this special time of your life to your fullest, exercise can be a way to regain your physical strength, mobility and independence.

Your desire to begin regular exercise may however get derailed by a common human trait, most people are creatures of habit. If you haven’t been exercising for years, perhaps decades, your body and mind are going to resist your physical fitness efforts. That is only natural. Even though old habits are hard to break, the good news is that you can make new ones.

Research shows that roughly 3 weeks is all that is required for a daily activity to become an unconscious habit. Depending on the person, getting back into the habit of exercise could take shorter or longer than 21 days. So if you aim for repeating your exercise habits for 30 days, you will probably be successful in changing your physical fitness efforts from conscious behaviors to an unconscious and welcome routine. Focus on the Rewards, Not the Work

21 Days for Habit Formation 

Another way to develop good exercise habits is to remember the saying “You catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar.” This simply means that positive motivation works better than negative motivation. Keep your mind on the rewards that regular exercise will offer. You will become stronger, more mobile, better balanced and flexible. This will improve your independence and self-esteem.

Perhaps you are exercising so you can spend more time playing with your grandchildren. Maybe you are unhappy with the way you look physically, or you have a goal of losing weight. Whatever the reasons for your personal interest in getting back in the exercise habit, focus on the rewards you are seeking rather than the physical exercise itself for a better chance at success.

Change up Your Routine

One of the most common complaints of exercise is that it quickly becomes boring. Performing the same routine or movement, the same number of times, the same way, at the same time of the day can quickly become dull and uninteresting. Make exercise a variety of different activities. Include tennis, walking, aerobics classes and body weight training. Perform yoga one day, Pilates the next, and follow that up with some cycling. Keep your exercise routine interesting and diverse, and you will look forward to your new exercise habit.