The most difficult part of any exercise program is not getting
started but sticking with it. Here are some tips to help you stay
- Set your sights on short-term as well as long-term goals. For
example, if your long-term goal is to walk one mile, then your
short- term goal can be to walk the first quarter mile. Or if your
long-term goal is to lose 10 pounds, then focus on the immediate
goal of losing the first two or three pounds. With short-term goals
you will be less likely to push yourself too hard or too long.
Also, think back to where you started. When you compare it to where
you are now, you will see the progress you've made.
- Discuss your program and goals with your family or friends.
Their encouragement and understanding are important sources of
support that can help you keep going. Your friends and family might
even join in.
- If you're having trouble sticking to your regular activity
program, use the questions on pages 20 and 21 to think through the
kinds of things that can affect your exercise enjoyment.
- What were your original reasons for starting an activity
program? Do these reasons still apply or are others more important?
If you are feeling bored or aren't enjoying a particular activity,
consider trying another one.
By continuing to be active regularly, you'll be building a good
health habit with benefits you can enjoy throughout your life.
To become more physically active throughout your day, take
advantage of any opportunity to get up and move around. Here are
- Use the stairs - up and down - instead of the elevator. Start
with one flight of stairs and gradually build up to more.
- Park a few blocks from the office or store and walk the rest of
the way. Or if you ride on public transportation, get off a stop or
two before and walk a few blocks.
- Take an activity break - get up and stretch, walk around and
give your muscles and mind a chance to relax.
- Instead of eating that extra snack, take a brisk stroll around
- Do housework, such as vacuuming, at a more brisk pace.
- Mow your own lawn.
- Carry your own groceries.
- Go dancing instead of seeing a movie.
- Take a walk after dinner instead of watching TV.
If you have a family, encourage them to take part in an exercise
program and recreational activities they can either share with you
or do on their own. It is best to build healthy habits when
children are young. When parents are active, children are more
likely to be active and stay active after they become adults.
Whatever your age, moderate physical activity can become a good
health habit with lifelong benefits.
The National Institutes of
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a
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