How to Stick to an Exercise Regimen

How to Stick to an Exercise Regimen

Did any of you make a resolution to have a healthier year this year?  Did you vow to exercise more, or were you like me?  I deliberately did not plan on exercising, because I KNEW I would fail.  And I hate to fail!
So I have done some research on how to implement and stick with an exercise program, even for those of us who feel we are doomed for failure:

1. Define your barriers.  You can probably easily figure out what is the biggest obstacle between you and your training.   Do you sleep in too late, work too late, or have too many other obligations (not enough time in the day)?  Maybe your biggest obstacle is your mindset.  You HATE to exercise.

2. Decide what you can do to prevent this obstacle from occurring.  For instance, if you have good intentions, but consistently sleep too late, you could go to bed early and set your alarm clock for the desired time.  You may even place the alarm clock across the room, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

3. Decide when you should do this action.  For instance, you would do the previous interventions the night before.

Maybe you just feel like you have too much to do all day and there is just no time to exercise.  One way to overcome this obstacle is to make a 15 minute appointment with yourself three days a week.  Use this time to walk, cycle, swim, dance, garden, or do whatever activity makes you happy.

Statistics show that those who make plans to overcome obstacles are twice as physically active as those who know they need to exercise, but don’t plan how to climb over the barriers.

Here are some other suggestions to make your fitness routine a success:

1. Exercise in the morning to prevent the lack of time or energy excuses.
2. Set a time on your calendar to exercise and make it a high priority.
3. Set realistic goals, like having two or three 30 minute sessions each week.
4. Find a workout partner.
5. Choose an activity that you enjoy.
6. Reward yourself when you reach your goal.
7. Forgive yourself and start over if you miss a few sessions.
8. Exercise outside.  Research indicates that it can make your workouts more effective.
9. Listen to music during your workout.  It will lighten your step and make the workout seem less tedious.
10. Tell someone else about your intentions.  Have this person keep you accountable.
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