We all know that exercise is good for us; getting fit or losing weight are common New Year’s resolutions, but equally exercise programs can be hard to stick to and these resolutions are frequently broken.
Here are some tips to help turn your good intentions into an exercise programs that is a part of normal daily life.
Exercise Goal Setting Needs to be Realistic and Timely
Exercise goal setting is the best motivation to stick to exercise programs. Exercise goals need to be realistic. For instance, for a complete novice who is starting running in January entering a spring marathon is unrealistic, but a 10km run may be attainable, and will give a target to aim for. On those dark wet cold nights having an exercise goal to strive for provides an incentive when it is difficult to gain the motivation leave the sofa.
Exercise Programs are Easier to Stick to with Peer Support
Exercise shouldn’t be a chore. The New Year’s resolution to get fit and lose weight is much more likely to be kept if exercise is social and fun.
There are groups and societies in the whole spectrum of sports and activities who welcome new members. Once a badminton court, or table tennis table is booked with a group of friends it is far harder to back out and opt for a bar of chocolate and a night in front of the TV instead.
Make Exercise Part of the Normal day
Getting fit and losing weight doesn’t have to revolve around separate exercise programs, but exercise can be incorporated into normal daily life. Turn some music on when doing the housework and put a bit more vigor into the dusting and Hoovering. Get up and change the channel on the TV rather than using the remote control. Walk or cycle to work or school or if that’s too far, get off the bus a couple of stops early. At the very least take the car parking spot that’s furthest away from the office door.
Track Improvements in Fitness
It is easier stick to exercise programs and reach exercise goals when measurable changes can be seen.
The most obvious objective marker is weight loss; however, if pursuing aerobic exercise programs, also consider investing in a heart rate monitor. As fitness improves, a noticeable change will be seen in heart rate. The more expensive heart rate monitors can be downloaded to the computer, allowing changes to be tracked on a daily basis in table or graph form.
If blood pressure is an issue blood pressure monitors are now inexpensive and widely available.
Remember, however, that with any exercise programs getting fit and losing weight won’t be an immediate result. It’s important to expect that some days will feel harder than others and improvement will be slow, but with perseverance exercise goals will be met and the New Year’s resolutions kept.
All exercise is not suitable for all people and if there are any health concerns a medical opinion should be sought before commencing any exercise programs.