Starting a fitness routine can be daunting. Where do you start? What kind of exercise should you do? Who should you talk to? How much time should you set aside? The truth is that any lifestyle change will be a learning experience and is different for every person. One of the biggest challenges when setting a goal is the commitment. However, there are many simple ways to help increase your success rate just by planning ahead. The following three suggestions will help you to make a new fitness routine a regular part of your life.
Preparation is key! Didn’t your parents always tell you to lay out your school clothes the night before so you wouldn’t have to think about it in the morning? That’s the idea. Prepare yourself ahead of time and the decision to workout will be that much easier. That could mean simply placing your running shoes by the front door, packing a gym bag with your towel and change of clothes, or it can even mean keeping a whole extra fitness wardrobe at work. There will always be meetings, traffic, and work to get in the way of your workout…don’t let something as simple as forgetting your sneakers keep you from your new routine.
It’s ok to have big expectations, but not at the expense of your progress. Setting short and long term goals are equally important when starting a new fitness routine. Why are you doing this? To keep up with your kids on the playground? To treat hypertension? To lose weight? Those are fantastic long term goals, but starting a new fitness routine can be challenging, and the best way to stay motivated is to experience small successes. Be sure to set some goals that you can achieve sooner than later. For example, “I will exercise three times a week before work.” This goal is solely based on your effort, with no measurement, and can be realized every single week.
Remember the buddy system from summer camp? Once again the lessons of our youth can help us successfully engage in a new exercise routine. When exercise is a fun social event, like hanging out with friends, it becomes more comfortable and easier to accomplish. Find a reliable friend to start your lifestyle change with you. Maybe someone who already has a great exercise habit. Or try out a local fitness class and make new friends.
Set yourself up for success by taking these three simple steps into account. Every effort counts and can help you make that lifestyle change with success.
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