|Many people start exercise programs
but stop when they get bored or results come too slowly. The
following tips can help you stay motivated to continue your workout
program and take your fitness to the next level.
Start slowly. Starting a fitness program
that's too intense is a common mistake. It's better to progress
slowly than to push too hard and be forced to abandon your program
because of pain or injury.
Set goals. Start with simple goals and then
progress to longer-range goals. Remember to make your goals
realistic and achievable - it's easy to get frustrated and give up
if your goals are too ambitious. The American College of Sports
Medicine recommends that you complete at least 30 minutes of
physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week.
Add variety. To prevent boredom, vary the
types of activities you do. For example, try alternating walking and
bicycling with swimming or a low-impact aerobic class. On days when
the weather is pleasant, do your flexibility or stretching exercises
outside. Consider joining a Fitness club to broaden your access to
different forms of exercise and meet new people.
Have fun. Make it fun. You're more likely
to stick with an exercise program if you're having fun. If you find
you aren't enjoying your workout, try something different. Exercise
doesn't have to be boring or unfun. Find something active that you
like to do and do it. If you like less "active"
activities, make them active. For example: Golf - get out of the
cart and walk! You'll be doing something you love and you'll be walk
somewhere between 5 and 7 miles- that's quite a workout.
Fit exercise into your daily routine. Look
for opportunities throughout your day to get in some physical
activity. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park at the far
end of the parking lot. Pedal a stationary bike while you watch TV.
Swim during your lunch hour. Before you enter each store on your
shopping trip to the mall, complete a loop around the mall. Be
Get some support. Exercise with a friend or
make new friends who like to exercise. Join a running group or take
a group fitness class.
Track your progress. Assess your fitness
level at regular intervals. You may want to record what you did each
time you exercise, how long you did it, and how you felt during and
after your exercise. Recording your efforts helps you work toward
your goals and reminds you that you're making progress.