If you are like most Americans, you are embarking on a new fitness program about now. Within 6 weeks, many people will drop out; half will quit within 6 months, and less than one-third of those who begin a fitness program will still be exercising by the end of their first year…
The following are 10 simple tips to get you started on making the transition from fitness drop-out to a person who will get fit, feel fabulous, never have to diet again, and have fun in the process.
1. Don’t work out too hard, too fast; you will end up sore and uninspired. It’s better to work out 2-3 days a week for life than to work out 6-7 days a week for a couple of weeks every now and then. Consistency is key.
2. Schedule your workouts on your calendar as if they were any other important appointment. This way, you will be able to balance your exercise program with family, work, and social activities. Again, you will be more successful if you fit fitness into your current lifestyle. A little is always better than NONE.
3. If possible, workout in the morning. You will get it done, feel energized all day, and will avoid “life” getting in the way of achieving your fitness goals.
4. Stay off the scales. As you get fit, lose fat, and gain muscle, you will actually drop inches and dress sizes and not move the scales all that much.
5. Choose a role model. Ask an instructor or fitness professional for suggestions and advice on how you can most effectively reach your goals. There are also a variety of other resources on health and fitness available.
6. Keep a fitness journal. Chart your progress and accomplishments.
7. Give yourself a little leeway – if you miss a workout or an entire week, get back on track as quickly as possible. Setbacks and challenges are normal. The quicker you get back on track, the quicker you will achieve your goals. Remember, fitness is not about being perfect, but about a series of healthy choices that you make consistently. It is not an all-or-nothing proposition.
8. Evaluate your progress every 6 – 8 weeks and increase the intensity of your workouts to stay challenged and inspired.
9. Feel like skipping a workout? Get yourself to do something for at least 10 – 15 minutes. Most likely, once you start you will complete your entire planned workout (If not, don’t fret, 15 minutes is better than nothing)
10. Bored? Unfocused? Change your routine a bit. Add a yoga, aerobics, or Pilates class. If you don’t care to join a gym, there are many wonderful classes at the local rec centers. Try a new exercise video or machine. Or, try an outdoor activity such as biking or a beach walk.
Article was written by Dianne Villano, President of Custom Bodies Personal Training and Weight Loss Programs. Dianne is a personal fitness instructor certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine with over 16 years of experience who specializes in weight loss programs and programs for beginners.