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Creating New Habits for New Strength Training Goals ­čĹŹ

The theme for this week …

You may be wondering how to add recently discussed strength and balance recommendations into your daily life.

It can be a challenge, so here are some tips to building new habits. Read on …

Creating new habits — how?

Atomic HabitsYes, frequent readers have now learned that you should be incorporating strength training into your fitness routine. Why? It’s important for muscle and bone preservation, and to help with balance for fall prevention.

Now comes the hard part — changing your habits to add new activities. Yes, there is research on this topic too!

‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear is a recent read of mine. In it, the author shares the neuroscience around habits, with practical tips to create good or break bad habits.

Some quick tips on habits

  • Small Changes: Little, daily changes may seem inconsequential, but over time they add up! Like the compounding effect in finance, daily activity will change your body and mindset over time.
  • Environment matters more than motivation: When your environment reinforces your new habit, you have an easier time adding the habit to your routine. One example is joining a group where your desired habit is the norm of the group. A class can also fulfill this role.
  • Bundling: Pair something you have to do with an activity you want to do. This can be as simple as taking a short walk following each meal. The steps and minutes will add up!
  • Make it easy: In building a new habit repetition matters more than time. Doing a new activity daily for a short time will shift your habits faster than a longer amount of time, several times per week.
  • Two-minute rule: A new habit should take less than two-minutes. It’s building the habit of putting the shoes on. Once the shoes are on you are more likely to go for a walk, but it starts with the shoes.

When life’s events upset your habit

In addition to building new daily habits, it’s equally important to return to a habit after an injury or medical event takes you out.

When you’re struggling with an activity you used to enjoy, it may be time for some Bridging┬« to give your muscles a reset and tune-up.

Insight of the Week from Cara

Figuring out how to add a new desired habit is tough, and I struggle with it as well.

After writing weekly about the role of strength training for muscles and bones I decided I needed to add it into my daily walking and running routine. Now the questions become when and how!

How to add strength training?

Following the Atomic Habits principles, here is my plan for change:

Make it easy: I found a small gym near home so it’s very easy to stop in.

Bundle with something else: My daily drive home passes the gym. I can pair a ‘must-do’ with a ‘want to-do’.

Prime the environment: By organizing workout clothes and putting them in the car, I’m ready to drop in.

Two-minute rule: My two minute goal can be to stop in and do one exercise set a day. I’ll likely do more, but my minimum is one. That gets me started.

The role of Bridging®?

You can bet that my new strength training will surface ways my muscles need some retooling, or that my balance is off. I’ll be making a list of these challenged movements and then schedule time with the team for a Bridging┬« reset.

Building a new habit together

Follow our Instagram page and during the month of April you can follow along on the habit building process.

I’ll be doing a series where I break down the process for my strength-training including:

  • getting started in a new habit
  • options for strength-training
  • resources for strength-training
  • anticipating upsets to the routine
  • how Bridging┬« plays a role along the way