For a happier, healthier you join My Health & Wellbeing for unlimited free access.

Get Started

January Download our guides now!


Are you a wellness warrior?

Vote today

Listen to our podcast today

fitness habits

How To Build Lasting Fitness Habits

2 MIN READ • 2nd September 2019

Habits, we all have them, some good and some bad. Now, with screen time dominating most of our social hours, we’ve become both dependent and invested in our tech; so much so, that we’ve stopped fulfilling our physical needs, which affects our mental well as a result. So, how do we turn these habits around?

Simply switching screen time for exercise time can help to fulfil our physical and mental needs.

Using data from the worlds largest sports and fitness network Strava (, along with expert advice, here are our tips on how to create healthy fitness habits that last.

Routines and regularity

“Habits keep us doing the same thing, even when motivation wanes,” says Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of Psychology.

Tracking and activity are key to healthy fitness habits and those who frequently track their activity are shown to remain active for longer periods of time.

Variety is the spice of life

Switching up your fitness activities means extended active periods, as you’re more likely to keep your motivation and interest with multiple exercise commitments than you are with one for the same length of time. With many sport and fitness choices, the options are endless.

Reward good habits

“Habits develop when we repeat actions in the same way and get a reward,” states Wendy.

We are much more likely to complete something or subconsciously create habits when we know the outcome of that action ends in a reward. We achieve a greater sense of satisfaction and are more motivated towards achieving the end goal – which leads us nicely onto our next tip.


Setting yourself goals is a sure way to inspire healthy fitness habits, as we have a sense of guilt and lack of satisfaction when we state a goal and don’t complete it.

You can do this in different ways, but the best way to set a goal is in a physical form, such as writing it down, be it on paper or digitally.

Seeing your goal in black and white is much more motivating than stating it out loud only to forget it later or pretend it never happened.

Stravas app allows users to publicly set goals. and their statistics show that for those who do, a whopping 94 percent then remain active nine months later.

Spread the fitness fantasy

You can almost always double the enjoyment of anything in life through simply sharing it with others, and fitness is no exception. Those that workout in groups or pairs are more likely to remain active for longer periods of time (both long term time and during the exercises), as well as go physically further.

Being loud about being physically active can help you gain support from those around you and it means that you’re able to offer support to yourself and to others, which is extremely fulfilling. You are able to satisfy your social needs in a healthy way and help others fulfil theirs. What’s not to love?

Credit to Strava, available to download for iOS and Android. For more information visit




Meet the writer
Vicky Warrell
H&W deputy editor

As H&W's deputy editor, I'm lucky enough to cover everything from celebrities to skincare. At the weekend, I'm happiest when adding to my ever-expanding houseplant collection, swimming laps at my local lido, spending time with my family and... Discover more

Show your inbox some love

Get a weekly digest of Health & Wellbeing emailed direct to you.

Next up

Access everything, free!

Unlock the website for exclusive member-only content – all free, all the time. What are you waiting for? Join My Health & Wellbeing today!

Join the club today
Already a member? Log in to not see this again
Join My H&W