So you’ve started an exercise program, so now what? Will you be able to keep the momentum going? In the last post of Move It Monday I outlined reasons why you should be motivated to exercise such as: weight management, improved sleep, increased energy, stress management and confidence building. Here are some tips to keep you motivated to keep moving:
1. Set a goal. Is your goal to lose weight or are you trying to become more lean? Or you’ve been diagnosed with an illness and you want to reclaim your health.
2. Pre-plan. Pre-plan your workouts, workout gear and pre/post workout meals. You are more likely to stick the program if you are prepared. Set a schedule and follow through.
3. Get Support. Let your family and friends know that your health is a priority and that fitness and nutrition are important to you. You don’t want anyone to sabotage your efforts.
4. Technology. There are a multitude of gadgets on the market that can keep you accountable. The Fit Bit and similar gadgets track all your moves, from sleep, heart rate and calories burned. iPhone users have a built in “Health” app as well. Secondly, mobile apps like the Lose It app can help track your calories. Lastly, if you are not a techie or can’t afford high price gadgets a simple pedometer will do.
5. Get a buddy. You and your bestie can keep each other accountable. Stay connected to your fitness buddy with the Fitbit and the like. It may be a friendly competition, who walked the furthest today?
6. Mix it up! Do different exercises, otherwise you might get bored doing the same routine.
7. Get a personal trainer. If you can afford a personal trainer, personal trainers can push you beyond the limit you thought you were capable of.
8. Be ambitious and challenge yourself to a marathon or maybe even a triathlon. If you are just starting out you can train for a 5K walk or run.
9. You’ve become addicted to the natural high you feel after your workout. The endorphins take over and now your body craves it and you need it to get you through the day.
10. Keep the exercise fun, do something you enjoy. You are more likely to stick to an exercise if you enjoy it. Zumba, Spinning, Kick Boxing and Body Pump are high octane exercises done in a group atmosphere where the energy is high. Group exercises are also a great place to meet and connect with other folks who like you have made their health a priority.
The bottom line use whatever strategy you can to keep you motivated. Just remember to make this a lifestyle not a quick fix.
by Marjorie Binette, MD