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In the Spotlight

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Fitness; 10 Easy Ways to Make Exercise a Habit

Let's face it: it's not all that difficult to start a fitness routine. After all, most of us have done it more than once. The trouble, of course, comes with sticking with it. All too often, our initial enthusiasm and energy wanes, we get distracted by other things going on in our lives, or we don't think we're seeing results quickly enough -- and we throw in the towel. Here are 10 tips for making fitness a habit in your life.
 
1. Do a variety of activities you enjoy. And remember, there's no rule that says you have to go to a gym or buy equipment. Having a variety of activities -- weight lifting, walking, running, tennis, cycling, aerobics classes -- will ensure that you can do something regardless of the weather or time of day.
2. Commit to another person.
3. Make exercise a priority.
4. Exercise first thing in the morning. Experts agree that a morning schedule is best. "If you go to a gym, it should be located between your home and work," says Klein. "Exercise, take a shower, and you're energized for the day."
5. Or, exercise on your way home from work. The next best thing to exercising first thing in the morning is to do it on your way home from work.There aren't a lot of people who are so motivated that after they go home and change clothes will go back out again and exercise.
6. Exercise even when you're "too tired." Chances are, you'll feel better after exercising.
7. Log your activity. Write down the things that are important to you. It could be how much time you exercise each day, how many steps you walked, how far you ran or cycled, what you weighed, etc.
8. Be aware of all the indicators of progress. It's great when your clothes fit better and you can lift heavier weights or work out longer without getting exhausted.
But there are a slew of other progress indicators, such as:
·         Getting a good night's sleep.
·         Thinking more clearly.
·         Having more energy.
·         Realizing your muscles aren't screaming after you've helped a friend move furniture.
·         Seeing your resting heart rate drop over time.
·         Hearing your doctor congratulate you on improved cholesterol, blood pressure, bone density, triglycerides, and blood sugars.
9. Walk -- with a pedometer (or a dog).
10. Reward yourself. Are you telling yourself that you don't deserve a reward for something you should be doing anyway -- or that once you can zip your jeans without lying on the bed, that will be reward enough? Well, honestly, how inspiring is that? Experts say that making behavior changes is hard, and rewards motivate. So decide on a goal and a reward, and work toward it. You might buy yourself a video you've wanted after you stick to your fitness plan for one month, or buy new walking shoes when you achieve 5,000 steps a day. Do whatever works for you.
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