The hardest part about beginning an exercise program is getting started, the second hardest is staying on track. When I say workout, I don’t mean just going to the gym. I mean whatever you do to stay active, a trip to the gym, a walk with your dog, or a date with your treadmill. It’s easy to skip a workout to go out with friends, or you’re just too tired at the end of the day to possibly fit it in. But with a little planning and some support, you can stay on track.
Have others keep you accountable
This could mean meeting up with a walking group or attending a yoga class with a friend. Don’t have any friends close by? Or maybe you prefer to workout alone. Start a text group of like-minded friends or family to keep each other motivated and accountable like I talked about in my blog post Fitness Tips For Regular People. Hiring a personal trainer is an option, funny how motivated we are when our money is involved, and it’s hard to skip it when you hire an in-home personal trainer and they show up smiling at your front door.
Focus on your motivators
Why did you start exercising in the first place? I feel very strongly about finding a motivator other than losing weight. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds and you do, then what? Are you going to keep exercising if you’ve achieved your goal? Focus on how good you feel after you’ve exercised. Think about the things you can do or hope to do by keeping active and in shape, such as keeping up with your teenagers all day at the amusement park or being able to spend an hour working in your garden. Consider the health benefits, lower blood pressure, or possibly even being able to get off medications. Focus on these things and make them your internal voice in your head when you are considering skipping it today.
Sure the best-made plans can get screwed up but if you plan your workouts into your week you are much more likely to fit them in than if you wait for your schedule to open up. I take walks in the evening with my husband and son, so I will look at the weekly forecast and if they are calling for rain, those are the days I fit in weight training or interval workouts. Planning ahead helps me stay on track.
Hopefully, the more you exercise and experience the benefits of regular physical activity the easier it is to stick with it. And if you do get off track due to illness, vacation, a crappy week or even a weekend bender don’t beat yourself up. Just get back to it and pat yourself on the back for not quitting.
What are some of your tricks for staying on track with your workouts? I’d love to hear them.
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