Five Steps to Exercise Success

Make it personal. Your first step on the lifelong path to healthy physical activity is to identify what works for you. Think about what kind of activities fit your lifestyle, time constraints, budget, physical conditions, and like and dislikes. Most importantly, find something you enjoy!

Make it fit. For most people, time constraints are a major problem to overcome. Look for ways you can work in blocks of exercise. Can you get up half an hour earlier every morning for a walk? Would this mean going to bed earlier? Be realistic. In addition to the time you schedule every day., look for ways to add bits of activity and recreation exercise–an extra lap around the mall when you are shopping or a Saturday morning bike ride.

Set some goals. Set a long-term goal and break it into weekly or monthly targets. For example, to drop 25 pounds in a year, you’ll need to lose just over 2 pounds a month.

Reward your efforts. Meeting you exercise goals, even short-term ones, is cause for celebration. It reflects your commitment to improving your health. Find ways to pat yourself on the back; rewards that don’t involve a high-calorie treat will make you feel the best.

Getting back on track. Even the most dedicated exercisers sometimes go astray. Almost anything can knock you off track; a bad cold, an out-of=town trip, or a stretch of bad weather. That’s why it is critical to learn how to reclaim your routine. If you’ve been away from your routine for two weeks or more, don’t expect to start where you left off. Cut your workout in half for the first few days to give your body time to readjust.

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