Today let’s discuss habit vs hobby and habits vs behavior. Yes these three are all different and all have their uses. You can combine them sometimes for good or bad. We all need to making walking a habit. Let’s delve into this today.

What is a Habit?

We all have habits. Generally, people notice their bad habits more than those that are good. A habit overall is a learned behavior you do over time until it becomes a thing you do without much thought or reminder.

Some examples of habits are:

  • Chewing your nails
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Smoking after or during a certain event
  • Waking at a certain time no matter what
  • Eating a certain way or at certain times
  • Doing a certain physical action when stressed like tapping fingers or scratching head

As you can see habits can be developed in a number of ways and relating to all sorts of things. There are good and bad habits, meaning learned behavior that aids your life and others that hinder your life. Depending on how they hinder you, you may wish to rid yourself of certain habits. Being excessively lazy is a habit I wish to rid myself of.

A small boy child brushing his teeth with a blue toothbrush

How is behavior different from a habit?

Behavior is a natural reaction due to stimuli. There is usually very little thought put into a behavior. It’s normally just a natural instinctual response. Every human has basic behaviors we all display, but we may do so at different times or in differing levels. One person may react to fear with freezing while another reacts with physically lashing out.

Over time, you can alter your behavior to an extent, but rarely can you completely change a basic behavior. For example, you can have a natural fear of snakes. It’s an instinctual behavior to avoid them. If you go out of your way to interact with tame snakes, you can usually overcome your natural fear at least in part. Others may have a more ingrained fear and no matter the amount of exposure, they never lose their terror.

When it comes to exercise it’s a natural human behavior for many to avoid excess activity. We, though, have often developed a habit of avoiding normal activity. We’ve made laziness a habit instead of an occasional behavior.

How about hobbies?

So, a hobby, is usually an activity you enjoy doing. This can be something more physical or more intellectual. So you could enjoy playing a sport and that is your hobby or you may enjoy reading and that is your hobby. We all really need at least one hobby. Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress we all feel at various times.

Sometimes certain behaviors, they aren’t always negative remember, can evolve into a hobby. If you found out you felt happy when you flew a kite as a child, that might evolve into building planes or flying drones as an adult. Having more cerebral enjoyments often doesn’t lend itself to exercise, but try to find ways to combine your hobbies without physical activity when possible. You are more likely to continue to do something you enjoy, so if you can turn your walking or other exercise into a hobby all the better.

A person reading a book near water

How to develop a positive exercise habit or involve your hobby:

So, there are myths out there that it takes 30, 45 or 90 days to develop a habit. These are very much a guess at best. We are all unique individuals and what may take 30 days for one person may take 180 days for someone else. The easiest way to develop a habit to have a reminder set to do something at the same time each day. So this could be a person who contacts you, an alarm that goes off, switch that cuts off your TV or phone for x amount of time each day. Do whatever you need to do to give yourself the reminder. Then you simply do the thing you want to become a habit.

Let’s use walking as an example. You’ve decided you want to take a walk 5 days a week. You find the perfect time to do it, before or after your work or school. You’ve set an alarm on your phone and as soon as it goes off you change into your workout gear, if needed, and set out for your 30 minute walk. That 30 minute walk 5 days a week gives you the 150 minutes most recommend.

Basically, if you do this every time that alarm goes off you will start to anticipate the alarm before it goes off. You will expect the walks. Eventually, you’ll not need the alarm at all and simply change and walk without much thought because you’ve turned it into a habit on those days.

Now, to make a habit more staying and sink in easier, it’s usually best to involve it in something you already enjoy. You should enjoy your hobbies. Let’s say you have a more cerebral hobby such as reading or watching movies. You could incorporate your hobby into walking pretty easily. For example, you could only watch a certain type of movie you like while walking on a treadmill or only after your walks. You could only watch movies at a theater if you walk there. Let’s say you enjoy thrift shopping or garage sales. You could walk to the shops, flea markets or garage sales within a 3mile radius of you and bring a backpack or wagon depending on what you normally buy.

There are many creative ways to find out how to blend your enjoyable hobbies with your exercise routines.

Ready to develop a positive walking habit?

I know I am. It takes a good while, probably 90 days or more, for most habits to sink in for me. So, I really need to get back to doing it now if I want to be able to complete a 10k this year. Have you set your goal yet? How can habits help you achieve it?

Can’t wait to see you strolling along,


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