Create your fitness goals and stick to them! Here's how:
Even the busiest people can fit fitness into their lives. It just takes a little preparation. Small, daily steps are key to creating healthy habits.
1. Your goals should determine how often you work out.
There are a couple of different ways you can look at this. If your goal is simply good health, shoot for at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise. If you are looking to lose weight, you will need to devote between 4 and 6 hours of exercise a week. Break it up any way you'd like. If you find it easier to work out 20 minutes a day, 7 days a week, go for it. Short, sweet and CONSISTENT definitely works. If you'd rather work out 60 minutes at a time, 3-5 times a week, do it.
Make sure your goals are reasonable. If you are going from never working out, to 6 hours a week, you will definitely burn out quickly. Start slowly by adding one or two 20 to 60 minute workouts a week and then increase from there as your schedule allows. This gradual increase will not only help you maintain the habit, it will keep your body from becoming overstressed and prevent injury.
2. Put workouts into your schedule.
This is an event that is stuck in stone. No matter how many you start with, write each workout in your calendar every week, for at least 30 days. That way, it will get into your head. Do NOT blow off what you have placed in your schedule.
3. Make workouts fun
Are you finding exercise hard to stick to because you’re so bored? Mix things up! Take a spin class or look for a fun video on YouTube. Find a running buddy or even an online fitness group to keep you accountable. Arrange a step competition at work. The team or individual with the most steps logged by a pedometer in a month wins a big cash prize. Do something outside of your comfort zone, like rock climbing or a swing class. Believe me, if you are having fun, that boring hour of exercise will go by much faster. And you may even learn something new!
4. Get fitness in whenever you can.
You would be surprised how much exercise you can get in on a daily basis if you are simply conscious of it. Go buy a pedometer and log how many steps you take tomorrow. Every day, try to increase that number by 100 steps. Find creative ways to get more steps in. Take the stairs, park as far away as you can from the bank, take a loop around the office to get to the bathroom. It will clear your mind and burn calories!
5. Don’t forget about your diet.
Just because you're exercising, doesn't mean your diet is allowed to go to down the toilet. Yes, you ran 3 miles. No, that does not give you license to eat an entire sleeve of Oreos (I speak from experience). Be mindful of what you are eating. I firmly believe that 80% of your success comes from how you fuel your body. If you start making strides in how you feel and look, you are much more likely to stick to your fitness routine. No matter what the health goal (weight loss, race training, fitness competition etc), your body will not respond as well if you keep eating the same crap. Stick to whole, unprocessed foods, lean meats, and fruits and veggies and you really can't go wrong.