Every New Year the gym is packed full of eager exercisers ready to achieve results. A month or two passes, resolutions go awry, and people give up. Don’t fall victim to this cycle! Exercise is a lifetime commitment for your own personal health and well-being. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated to exercise.
- Partner Up! Exercise is so much more fun when you do it with a friend. Plus, you and your buddy will keep each other accountable. On days you don’t feel like working out your partner will be your motivator and vice versa.
- Try Something New! Take a class, try a sport, dance, walk/run a 5-K, train for a marathon or a triathlon. Do something you’ve been curious about or always wanted to try. Life is short. Have fun!
- Mix It Up! Remember to continually “trick your body” by changing up your workout routines. Doing the same exercises all the time might lead you to a plateau. Mixing things up also alleviates boredom.
- Participate In A Contest. Contests create excitement, motivation, competitiveness and possibly the ultimate reward of a prize. Various gyms are offering Biggest Loser type classes. You could even start your own contest at work, in your neighborhood, or among family members. Remember to keep prizes weight loss friendly.
- Learn What To Do. If you’re new to exercise and don’t know where to begin…ask for help. A session or two with a personal trainer can get you well on your way to goal achievement.
- Re-evaluate Your Goals. Many times people set goals that are unrealistic. If something in your plan is making you want to give up, then you’ve set the bar too high. Start with smaller goals and work toward achieving larger ones. Example: If you’re new to exercise and you over-did your workout to the point where you couldn’t walk the next day then you need to simplify your routine. Find things you enjoy doing and gradually make them more challenging.
- Something Is Better Than Nothing! We all have days when we feel like we just can’t fit everything in. Sometimes thinking of getting 30 minutes of exercise seems impossible. On those days, squeeze in whatever amount of time you can even if it’s just two-minute bursts of activity (like taking the stairs, parking further away, or getting in some squats or push-ups). Any extra activity counts toward your daily calorie burn. Something IS better than nothing. Move more to lose more!
- Manage Your Time. How many times have you waited until after work to workout and something pops up that makes you push exercise aside? Solve this problem by exercising before work. For those of you that are not morning people this will be hard at first. But, eventually you will come to love this plan! You’ll have more energy for the rest of the day and have already accomplished something before you go to work! People that workout first thing in the morning and keep a food journal are the most successful at weight loss. If you can’t exercise in the morning, then make sure you schedule a specific time to workout and stick to it. Mark it in your calendar with a “no cancellation” policy. If you have a hard time fitting exercise into your workweek, take advantage of your weekends and make them mandatory workout days. You’ll still need at least 2 other days during the week, but this will free up your weekday schedule a bit.
- If You Fall Off The Wagon…Get Back On! Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout or splurge on your diet every once in awhile. That’s normal and human nature. However, take responsibility to get yourself back on track. Tomorrow is a new day and a great day for a fresh start!
- Realize the Value of Your Efforts. Improving your health, feeling better and living longer are just a few of the many benefits you’ll receive from sticking with your exercise program. Enjoy that feeling of accomplishment when you’ve finished your workout! Make physical activity an important part of your life and reap the rewards!
By: Wendy Stoll
Wendy Stoll is a certified personal trainer with over 18 years of experience. She specializes in exercise program design for women (in-home & office). Visit www.wendystoll.com for more information.
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