Starting a Physical Fitness Program

Have you ever started a fitness program and then quit? If you answered yes, you're not alone. Many people start fitness programs but stop when they get bored or results come too slowly. Here are seven tips to help you stay motivated.

1. Set goals

Start with simple goals- and then progress to longer range goals. Make your goals realistic and achievable. It's easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious.

For example, if you haven't exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be to walk 10 minutes a day three days a week. An intermediate goal might be to walk 30 minutes five days a week. A long-term goal might be to jog, eventually run and then complete a 5K walk/run.

2. Make it Fun

Find sports or activities that you enjoy. Vary your routine to keep your interest. If you're not enjoying those workouts, try something different. Join a basketball, volleyball or softball league. Take ballroom dancing classes. Check out a health club or martial arts center. Remember! YOU have skills so use them!

Exercise can be exciting. Find that motivational activitiy that is fun and you're more likely to stick with it.

3. Make Physical Activities Part of your Daily Routine

If it's hard to find time for exercise, don't fall back on excuses. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity. You can also slip in physical activity throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk up and down sidelines while watching the kids play sports. Pedal a stationary bike or do strength training exercises while you watch TV at night

4. Write it Down

Are you hoping to lose weight? Boost energy? Sleep better? Manage a chronic condition? Write it down. Seeing the benefits of regular exercise on paper may help you stay motivated.

Keep an exercise diary. Record what you did during each session. Recording your efforts may help you meet your goals. Be STRONG! Continue daily and you and your peers will notice your progress.

5. Join forces with friends, neighbors.....

Look around! You're not alone. The majority of us are not physical specimens. Invite friends or co-workers to join you when you exercise. Work out with your partner or other loved ones. Play soccer with your family. Organize a group of neighbors to take fitness classes in your converted garage or at a local health club.

6. Reward yourself

After each session, take a few minutes to enjoy those "pumped up" feelings that exercise gives you. This internal reward can help you commit long-term to daily exercise. External rewards help. Treat yourself to a new pair of walking shoes or new tunes to enjoy while you exercise.

7. Be flexible

If you're too busy to work out or simply don't feel up to it, take a day off. Be gentle with yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can.

BE SURE you do not overindulge in foods/beverages during your time off. We hope these tips inspired you to initiate your FITNESS PROGRAM and regain your enthusiasm.

In conclusion, set goals, make it fun, look in the mirror, wink and say, " You can be a Healthnut, too".