“These findings seem to align with previous research that developing a habit is complex and takes time,” Jaclyn Maher, an assistant professor of kinesiology at UNC Greensboro who was not associated with the study, told HuffPost. “At the very least, these findings (and others) suggest that the old adage that it takes 21 days to form a habit is simply a myth.”
If you want to create a gym habit, you have to consistently work on it for months, not weeks, she added.
Think about what can realistically and conveniently fit into your life and work to incorporate that gym-going experience or, potentially, at-home workout regimen into your life. So, if you don’t like taking public transit, opt for a gym within walking distance of your home instead of a subway ride away.
What’s more, it’s important to find a workout you enjoy. “Developing a habit will be much easier if individuals focus on behaviors that bring them joy and they find pleasant,” Maher said.