Once you get hooked to working out, it becomes a habit, a healthy one you don't need to kick.

“When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no tomorrow. Tomorrow is Disease”, said Terri Guillemets.

Each election, the Election Commission releases figures of how many came out to vote. Often the figures aren't too great; considering our population is more than one billion over 60 per cent turning out to exercise their right to vote is not something to cheer about.

But take a look at the number of people that actually use gym memberships to work out and you'll think the EC has something to be happy about. Despite taking membership for a whole year only 20 per cent — sometimes even less — actually turn up at the gym. Come to think of it, do we actually exercise our right to exercise under article no. 19 of the fundamental rights? Just kidding! How many of us take this seriously until the day we stare at posters that say “Right to medication”, Right to Health Care”, Right to Medical Services”? I mean the day we sit in the hospital and wait for results of innumerable tests and their bills.

Take the case of Mr. X. He had an annual membership at a fitness studio. Three months later: Mr. X is MIA (Missing In Action) and an unknown figure at the fitness studio. So he dropped the gym and opted for a club membership. He could play tennis or go for a swim and spend time with the family too. One month later: After one or two visits, the club knows him no more.

But Mr. X is not willing to give up. He buys a treadmill, a fairly inexpensive option given the many EMI options. And he also decides to install it in the living room so that he can watch TV and walk at the same time. One week later: The treadmill sits dormant in the corner of the living room and is used to dry wet clothes.

Leon Eldred once said, “If I'd known I was going to live so long, I'd have taken better care of myself.” But if we aren't self-motivated then we just have to force it on ourselves. Until the day when the change happens and we start enjoying our workouts. Till then perseverance will pay, and it isn't too far, that day. Force these five on yourself till that day happens.

Goal: Keep it specific, Easy and Measurable like to run 5 km at one stretch to be achieved in one month, or to lose 4 kg in a month.

Daily Log: Keep a daily log of your workout. This will make you take your workouts seriously and show you the progress you've made.

Peer Pressure: Build up your own peer pressure. Talk about your workouts with your colleagues and friends. The pressure to keep it up will help get you into the habit.

Precursor: Workouts should precede something you do every day. Say you watch TV before going to bed or take a shower before heading to work. Schedule your workout, say, before your morning shower and make believe that the activity that follows cannot be done without completing the workout itself.

Motivation: Try and find ways to motivate yourself with things that will make you exercise — music, clothes, shoes, rewards — whatever works till the habit of working out takes over.

Once you get hooked to exercising, it becomes a habit and we know that habits are hard to kick. And who wants to kick a healthy habit like working out anyway? And remember, “If you can't make time for fitness, then you need to make time for sickness.”