Too many women give up to soon when they begin a new exercise plan. Just when you are on the verge of results or getting hooked on exercise, you throw in the towel. Don’t let that be you! Stay encouraged and committed this year with these seven strategies. Keep on keeping on with your exercise!
1. Get an accountability partner. An accountability partner helps you stay honest and of course, accountable. While it would be ideal if your accountability partner can exercise with you, that doesn’t have to be the relationship. You can live in states on the opposite sides of the country, call each other up weekly and just ask: How are you doing on your health and fitness goals? Involve your family. Don’t go it alone, get your whole family involved in healthier eating and exercise habits. Get gym memberships together or get everyone out for a walk. If you have more support, you will be more likely to stick with it. And, what’s a better gift than a healthy family?
2. Add strength training. I say this all the time because muscle burns fat while you are at rest, and more muscle increases your metabolism. As you age, you lose muscle mass, but if you are regularly building muscle you can significantly reduce muscle loss.
3. Try something new. A 5k walk for a cause? A new fitness class or DVD? A heavier set of weights? A new type of yoga? Find a form of exercise you haven’t tried before and dive in … When you push beyond your safe boundaries, you boost your confidence and start believing you can do more than you thought you could …
4. Move more outside of planned movement. Too many people workout for an hour and then sit the rest of the day. Make your entire day an opportunity for more movement by looking for ways to sneak in exercise outside of your designated workout time. You won’t believe what a different it will make. Take the stairs, park far away from the store, lift hand weights while watching TV—there’s all sorts of ways.
5. Choose an exercise you love. You don’t dread doing what you love. Maybe you hate running but love Zumba. Or you dislike group exercise but you love swimming. Try and find your ideal exercise and make that your staple.
6. Vary it up. You have your exercise favorite, but if you want to challenge your body, you have to mix it up. Change frequency, intensity, duration or the type of exercise every week or two.
7. Go for the 80/20 rule. This is a great rule to incorporate moderation into your routine. Try to be healthy and make healthy decisions 80 percent of the time—most of the time—and only indulge or skip exercise 20 percent of the time. I’m not saying go crazy 20 percent of the time, but if you want a couple of cookies or have one day of exercise off, that’s okay. Eat colorfully and fresh. If you try and eat rainbow colors—you will most likely choose fresh fruits and veggies. Get creative. Make smoothies of different colors or make your salad as colorful a possible.