As I mentioned yesterday, I switched my off day to yesterday and worked out this morning. I got up a bit later than I normally do and headed to Gold’s Gym for a workout. Part of me loves the beginning of a new year at a gym. You see all the people with such good intentions touring the gym or working out. The truth is that — seven out of 10 of Americans — do not exercise regularly. And I have read that 50 percent of the people who begin an exercise routine quit after six to nine months. Another 15 percent join a gym but never go. I would wager to say that 50% of people who start a workout routine, actually quit way before 6-9 months that is mentioned above.
What makes one person stick with it and another quit? If I had that answer, I would have the Golden Ticket. I do believe there are things that give one person an advantage over others.
I read this article at sixwise.com and think that so much of it is part of the Golden Ticket answer. I hope you find some useful information below that will help you begin to live a healthy and fit life.
HAPPY NEW YOU YEAR!
How to Stay Motivated … and Finally Keep Your Exercise Program Going Strong
If you’re fed up with the exercise “yo-yo” of starting a program strong, then quitting after a couple of weeks, there are a number of tips that can help. Here are the top 10 ways to keep you, and your exercise program, going strong.
1. Start Slowly
You shouldn’t expect to hop on a treadmill and jog for five miles if you haven’t exercised in years. Starting slowly ensures that your body can become more fit without getting injured. And, you’ll be more likely to stick with a workout that leaves you feeling energized, not fatigued from working too hard.
2. Set Realistic Goals, and Write Them Down
Whether you want to lose 20 pounds, tone up for the summer or increase your strength, write down exactly what you hope exercising will help you achieve. Then, keep track of your progress by keeping an exercise journal. Did your pants feel looser after the first month? Are you able to walk farther and faster? Writing down your achievements is a great way to see how far you’ve come, and get a little inspiration when you need it.
3. Be Patient
Remember that it will take time to achieve your fitness goals. “Many people don’t see immediate weight loss and say it’s all for naught and stop,” says exercise expert William Haskell of Stanford University Medical School.
On the contrary, studies have found that even moderate amounts of exercise can make a big difference in your health. And, in time, you will definitely see and feel a difference.
4. Do Something You Like
Exercise should be enjoyable. If it’s not, you’re not likely to keep doing it. There are so many ways to get exercise … biking, jogging, strength training, aerobics, dancing, yoga, etc. … that, as long as you keep in a variety, it’s impossible to get bored. Make sure you consider your personality (Do you like to workout alone or in groups? Do you like to be outdoors or at the gym?) when choosing which types of workouts are best for you.
5. Incorporate Both Aerobic and Strength-Training Activities
Perhaps the most motivating thing about exercising is feeling more in shape, more flexible, and more toned. A key way to achieve these things is to make sure you are getting both aerobic and strength exercises. While doing some cardiovascular exercise, like jogging, will increase your stamina, strength training will help with your bone density, and, a new study found, can also help prevent weight gain in middle age.
In fact, the study found that women who lifted weights just twice a week prevented or slowed “middle-aged spread.” So be sure you are giving your body all the possible benefits exercise can provide by incorporating aerobic and weight-lifting activities into your routine.
Exercise should be enjoyable. If your workout routine is no longer fun, spice things up by getting a workout buddy, trying a new fitness class or varying your activities from day to day.
6. Set a Time to Do It
Your workout time should be a set part of your day, for three to five days a week. If you don’t schedule it in like any other task, it is way too easy, and tempting, to put it off.
Some studies have found that people who workout first thing in the morning are most likely to stick with it. But, most importantly, you should designate a time that works for you — whether it’s in the morning, after work or during your lunch hour. Set aside the time, then don’t even think about whether or not you’ll workout — just do it.
7. Consider Getting a Workout Buddy
A workout buddy can help keep your workouts regular … after all, if you’re supposed to meet at the gym, you can’t very well cancel at the last minute. It can also be motivating to have someone to encourage you and talk with while exercising. Plus, studies have found it to be effective. When both spouses start a fitness program, only 8 percent drop out, compared with 50 percent who start out alone, Raglin says. “That’s a pretty remarkable result,” he continued.
8. Support Your Workouts by Doing Other Healthy Things
Your workouts will be much more effective and enjoyable if you are feeling good, mentally and physically. That said, keeping a healthy lifestyle outside of exercising by eating a healthy diet, drinking lots of water, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding too much stress is essential to sticking with any fitness routine.
9. Have Fun
Exercising should be enjoyable. If you find that you’re dreading your workouts, it’s time to change to a new type of exercise.
10. Reward Yourself
In order to keep exercise a positive thing in your life, reward yourself often for keeping to your routine. You may want to take a long soak in the tub, buy yourself a small gift or simply take time to appreciate your achievements each time you keep to your workout routine for a week. Remember to keep it positive — be gentle with yourself if you skip a workout or two, just remind yourself how good it will feel when you get back on track.