Everyone agrees that regular exercise is an essential part of life. Besides looking and feeling better, people who exercise daily report having more energy, less anxiety and depression, and a better outlook on life! So why is it so difficult for so many folks to commit to a regular fitness lifestyle? There are millions of excuses, some are pretty valid, others kind of lame, but as I tell clients, when you really want to do something badly enough, you will make it happen. Here are six easy habits that will help you get fit, stay fit and keep you happy!

Turn exercise into a fun activity. You don’t have to pump iron for hours or snort away endlessly on a tread-mill to stay lean and mean. Regular weights and cardio are necessary, but really fit people participate in all kinds of activities to keep themselves in shape. Power walking, swimming, yoga, martial arts, tennis, cycling and a whole array of different activities can also build muscles and maintain a healthy heart. Why not have fun and be adventurous!

Make exercise a social activity. Working out with friends can keep you competitive and on track. Having a trainer to answer to on a regular basis at a scheduled time will keep you consistent and accountable. Zumba, bowling, running, and aerobics classes are all social activities where you can get fit and meet and socialize with fun and upbeat people.

Exercise must be a major priority in your life. Whether you work out in the morning or hit the gym on your way home after work, make sure that you don’t put your workouts and fitness activities on the back burner. Regular exercise is just as essential to your life as any business meeting or conference call.

Don’t make excuses. Too pooped to exercise? Not a good reason!  You need to grab a nap before you hit the gym after work? Chances are you’ll stay sacked out on the sofa long after the gym has closed. You’ll feel more rejuvenated if you can just get to the gym, track or pool rather that succumb to fatigue. During exercise, you’ll breathe deeply as you process more O2. Your body also produces stress busting hormones that’ll give you that exercise “high”.

Keep an exercise journal. Bigger muscles, less body fat, better sleep, more energy, lower resting heart rate and glowing reports from your doctor are a few things you’ll have to look forward to in the near future.

Reward yourself. Getting fit and staying fit is hard work. Positive reinforcement does wonders for keeping you motivated. Whether it’s a new bathing suit or a long overdue vacation cruise, make sure that you celebrate your accomplishments and reward yourself for making fitness your ongoing lifestyle!