When it comes to fitness, no one likes being a failure, yet more than half of new exercisers quit their program within the first six months. With a little help you can ensure you’re not one of them. Give these ideas a try as you begin your exercise program for the new year.
If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Setting short-term and long-term goals may increase your chance of success. Your goals must give a clear picture of the end-point to work towards. Use the SMART model, your goal should be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Without these you’ll never know if you have achieved the goal. You can’t just say “lose weight or gain energy.” Instead say, “I will lose 10 pounds in 12 weeks by doing strength training 3 times a week and cardio 3 times a week.”
Go for variety
Whether you do a home workout or belong to a gym, build your routine on cross-training to keep things fresh and interesting, and keep yourself from developing an injury. Frequently vary the order of your exercises and mix in dumbbells, barbells, resistance tubing, machine or body weight exercises. Don’t be afraid to take a class.
Track your progress
Write down your measurements and weight at the beginning of your program. Keep a workout log and use it. Seeing results is a great motivator. At least once a month, re-measure and review your log to see advances in your aerobic fitness, strength, flexibility and body composition.
Seek out support
A workout partner with similar goals and a positive attitude can make your workout more fun. knowing you are accountable to another person can be a great motivator too. So can working with a certified personal trainer.
Devise a backup plan
Time and access are the largest obstacles to fitness, and even devoted exercisers experience lapses. Don’t use these as excuses to avoid exercise. Having some portable home workout gear like a stability ball, resistance tubing, jump rope, and dumbbells, will allow you to work out while traveling, at home or even at work. With limited time, focus on compound movements for the largest muscle groups and superset 2 for opposing muscle groups. A brief but intense workout can be accomplished in a few minutes.
Just do it
While pumping iron may not be right for everyone, the idea being active is. Find something you enjoy doing that elevates your heart rate and challenges you most days of the week. Also pay attention to how you feel. If you are like most people in as little as three weeks you will find yourself sleeping better and feeling more rested.
The information contained in this article is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice. If you are sedentary or over 40 please get clearance from a doctor before starting an exercise program.