It's May, about 5 months after New Year's. Did you make a New Year's Resolution to lose weight or to get in shape? How many years have you set the same resolution only to have given it up by February? You're certainly not alone. We all have good intentions but life seems to get in the way. Following are 8 tips to get you started on the path to exercise.
1. Goal Setting. What does it mean when you say you want to exercise or lose weight? People don't set specific or powerful enough goals for themselves, and very often those goals that are set are unrealistic. Set S.M.A.R.T. (SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, REALISTIC AND TIMELY) goals to set you up for success.
2. Fit It In To Your Lifestyle- Most people tend to do too much, too hard, too fast. This year, find activities that will easily fit in to your lifestyle. If you have babies, consider a stroller based workout. If you don't have time to go to a gym, then try exercise tapes or just walk right in front of your house. You have to make it non-negotiable, just like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, etc. In fact, book exercise on your calendar just as you would any other appointment.
3. Find Things You Enjoy - Hate the gym? Then don't go. There are a million ways to get fit. Find activities that you enjoy. Any of the following are examples: Yoga, Walking, Running, Tennis, Basketball, Racquetball, Bike Riding, Swimming, Spinning. The list goes on and on. Do what you enjoy and you'll stick with it.
4. Reward Yourself - It is human nature to strive to achieve things when there's a reward at the end. Set up some positive reinforcers for yourself such as a massage, a new outfit or even just a day to relax. Set a goal and set a reward that you will be excited to receive. Here's an idea. Pay yourself every time you workout. At the end of the month, use that money to treat yourself to something.
5. Sign up for an event - If you are a walker, biker, runner or swimmer, there are tons of events from 5k's to marathons that you can sign up for. If you sign up for an event, it helps keep you on track with your training because you know what you have to achieve and by when.
6. Get A Workout Pal - It is so easy to skip workouts when you only have yourself to hold accountable. People with workout partners are far more likely to stick to their routine. If you know that someone is depending on you, it's tough to make excuses.
7. Get Your Family Involved - Create an active family. Instead of going to the mall on weekends, go for a family hike, bike ride or swim at the local pool. It will add a new element of fun for your family and will encourage you and your family to live a more active lifestyle.
8. Stay Motivated. Set The Mood. You're more likely to stick with an exercise routine if it inspires you. That means different things to different people. For instance consider buying new exercise clothes or an mp3 player so that you have motivating music to pump you up. If you get revved up every time you hear the theme song to Rocky, then by all means start your day with it!