You know you should exercise more, but that won’t always get you going. Here’s how to devise and stick to an exercise program.
Here are other ways that you can motivate yourself to lose weight and exercise regularly:
- Make specific goals. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” Better: “I want to lose 20 pounds in a year.” Your goal needs to have specific timeframes and be something where you can measure your progress, Burron says.
- Be realistic. Never expect to lose 20 pounds in two weeks or even three. Set goals that are realistic with the effort and commitment that you can give to them. Also, make sure you have the resources available to achieve your goals. Don’t choose swimming as your form of exercise if you don’t have access to a pool, or running outdoors when it’s going to be freezing outside for the next few months.
- Set reminders. Post sticky notes where you will see them, reminding yourself of the benefits of exercise and sticking to your goals.
- Schedule your workout. Put time for exercising on your calendar, just as you would a doctor’s appointment or work. You can use your phone to set an alarm when it’s time to get moving.
- Put it in writing. Keep a journal with your goals for the week along with your results. After working out, write down what you did and for how long. When you look at the numbers and see progress, it will encourage you to keep going.
- Consider the obstacles. Think about what might get in the way of your going for a brisk walk or biking at least three times a week. Then come up with a plan to overcome these obstacles. For example, if you have small children that you can’t leave and have no one to watch them, buy a good stroller or bike so they can come along. Weather getting you down? Find a fitness center with child care or create a home exercise routine that you can do when the kids are napping or at school.
- Get a partner. If you have the tendency to bail from exercise at the last minute, finding a partner who can keep you accountable might be a good strategy.
- Talk to a trainer. It’s important that your exercise routine be made of activities you like. The more you like them, the more motivated you’ll be to do them. However, you may need a personal trainer to teach you how to properly do the exercises you’ve chosen and set up a routine that you can live with easily.
Making lifestyle changes is similar to remodeling your house. “It will go much better if you have a plan.” Even making small increases in your physical activities will be beneficial to your overall health.