How To Make Fitness A Habit: My Linchpin Theory

Raise your hand if you’ve been forced to change your habits and routines drastically since 2020… I’m with you! Now raise your hand if the way you workout has also changed, and you’ve struggled to make fitness a habit again. Maybe you went from heading to the gym right after dropping kids off at school to trying to squeezing in some cardio in your living room while your kids were in a zoom class. Maybe you went from going for a walk right after your kids got on the bus to doing nothing because they were home all the time. Maybe you exercise at all different times of the day now despite once having been a consistent evening exerciser.

When you attach a habit to another routine or activity, I call that a linchpin. We all lost a lot of linchpins in 2020, and if you feel like you’re still trying to sort out your exercise routine again, you’re not alone. Watch this!

😂 Did you like my dramatic story about the toddler truck and trailer nap time metaphor in that video?  A linchpin holds things together, and other things can be attached to them. If I can attach a workout or other movement habits to a linchpin in my schedule, then my fitness is easier to sustain for that stage in my life.

Let me tell you about a couple of my recent linchpins:

My daughter began taking college classes 30 minutes away, and she didn’t have her driving license yet. Instead of spending 2 hours in the car, driving her there and then going back to get her several hours later, I inquired about teaching a couple of diastasis aware classes at a gym just around the corner from her campus. They said yes.

My son plays drums for the team at his homeschool co-op, so I looked for a walking trail near his practices. Now, instead of sitting in the car while I wait for him to practice (because God forbid I come in and watch him) or making an extra trip back and forth, I can get 4-5 miles of racewalking training done. If I stay committed to that once a week during off-season, I’ll head into racing season in excellent form thanks to the linchpin of his practices.

When linchpins fall out and habits change

I’ll never forget how my own young teenage brain imploded a bit when one of my teachers stated that, “The only thing that stays constant is change.” However, aint that the truth? Things change.

New stages, new schedules, new obligations will happen, and the slot we hold for our home workouts needs to shift along with the rest. The linchpins I attached my workouts to last year LITERALLY aren’t there anymore. I had to find new ones for this season.

The reality is that my schedule will continue to change many more times throughout the rest of my life as me and my family go through different stages. I’ve chosen to see “fitness” in general as a constant habit that offers me stability and strength.

My constant goal is to move my body on most days of the week for a few/lot of minutes. Sometimes (often) it’s 10-30 minutes, and sometimes (rarely) it’s 45-100 minutes. I’ve learned that – when it comes to keeping my Diastasis Recti closed & getting stronger as I age – the style/intensity/time matter less than the consistency. If I manage to maintain the consistent habit of movement, my body might fluctuate a little but not a lot, and I’ll stay strong and healthy.

Additionally, how I do fitness looks different in different seasons too. For example, I do a lot of race walking and less weights over the summer. In the winter I do more Yoga and Weights, some gentle walks on my driveway, and typically only practice racewalking once a week. When I was working on addressing my Diastasis Recti, and I was in early rehab, I did a lot of very focused core workouts.

How to make fitness a habit with linchpins

As I outlined earlier, my linchpins have been my son’s practice and my daughter’s classes for the past couple of months. Those pins have provided me with 3-4 steady workouts a week for the past 10 weeks. Plus I’ve been practicing the new Fit2B workouts that’ we’re filming soon. However, my kids schedules are shifting again, and I’m once again strategizing how to keep my fitness habits.

Here are some ideas of things that can be linchpins for your personal fitness: 

  • Music Practices
  • Counseling Sessions
  • Church Service
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Naptime
  • Kids heading to school
  • Getting the mail
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Showering
  • Getting dressed
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Weekly meetings

With a tiny bit of forethought and planning, you can make fitness a habit before, during, or after any of those things. Obviously, if you or your small child is the one in an appointment, you need to be present and prolly not do squats while playing your tuba or talking to the doctor. You can do it right before or right after though!

You can go in your leggings and bring a water bottle so that you can get right out of the car when you get home and do your workout. You can go for a walk while your older kids have their practices or appointments. You can extend that walk to the mailbox. You can go for a quick lap around that trail by your grocery store. You can do your stretches after brushing your teeth. You can ask the baby sitter to watch the kids for an extra 30 minutes. You can sign up for that class that’s right by your office. You can exercise for 10-15 minutes right before your shower. You can squeeze in a Fit2B workout video while your kids take a nap or play with legos.

Join Fit2B

If you need more ideas…

We have hundreds of workout videos you can do anytime, anyplace… but most of our members around the world do them at home – and they’re all different lengths, levels, focus areas, and styles – so if you’re not part of the Fit2B tribe yet, and you need more support and professionally filmed, family friendly home workouts, you’re in the right place!

Leave a comment!

What are your current linchpins? What do you hang your home workouts on to stay active? Have you struggle to make fitness a habit over the past couple of months or years? What tips can you offer others for maintaining their workout habits? Thanks for reading!

See you in the workout videos!


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1 thoughts on “How To Make Fitness A Habit: My Linchpin Theory

  1. Fitness says:

    You are right this is so relevant to our daily routine, because we all face these kinds of struggles in our life to stay fit. I’ll wait for your next post.

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