How many times have you started an exercise program and then just quit going? We want to see everyone succeed so we've found 10 tips for starting and sticking with an exercise routine! They involve common sense.
1. Choose activities that are fun. Exercise doesn't have to be a chore and the more fun it is, the more likely you are to stick with it.
2. Variety is the spice of life! Don't just find one thing and stick to it... your guaranteed to get bored eventually. Find a couple different types of exercise that you enjoy (swimming, biking, weight training, yoga, group exercise classes, etc.) and mix it up
3. Keep a record of your activities. Set small "achievable" milestones and reward yourself periodically. Nothing motivates and keeps you going like success!
4. Make it a lifestyle! Short-term diets and fitness kicks don't work. Lifestyle changes that become part of your normal routine are important for long-term success.
5. Watch the clock. Pick a time that's convenient and try to stick to it. If you get used to working out before work or walking during your lunch hour... you're more likely to stick with it.
6. Don't be too hard on yourself. If you miss an exercise opportunity, try to work something else in rather than feeling down. If a lunch meeting interferes with your regular walk... go for a walk after dinner.
7. Stay entertained. Music is a great motivator and can make exercise more fun. Mix your own CD's with your favorite music or books on tape and take them along when you're working out. Many people also like to watch TV or catch up on their soaps while on a treadmill. Whatever it takes to keep up with the program.
8. Surround yourself with supportive people. Share your activity with others who want to see you succeed and will be encouraging. It may be a friend, family member, or neighbor. You may run with a co-worker over lunch or find a workout partner. If you're at the gym at the same time everyday, look for people that may have similar goals... since your schedules are the same, maybe he/she is looking for a workout partner?
9. Slow and steady wins the race. Don't risk injury by pushing yourself too hard too quickly. Start with low to moderate level activities and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts as you become more fit.
10. But... don't get lazy! While pushing yourself too hard is bad... not doing enough is equally bad! There is a fine line between staying on a plateau and providing enough stimulus so your body will grow. You should gradually increase the amount of weight you lift, the length of your cardio exercise, etc. to keep you moving towards your goal. If your goal is overall fitness, you should work up to exercising three or four times per week for 30-60 minutes.