Health

Sticking with it: tips on staying motivated to exercise.

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With winter approaching, the weather cooling and the days getting shorter, it can be tempting to skip that walk or workout, curl up with a book or park in front of the television. Resist the urge! Now that you’re moving, here are some tips to help you stay moving through the greyest months of the year!

Set realistic goals.
Use the free So Good Lifestyle Tracker to help you set goals that are realistic and achievable. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious.

Go slowly.
If you push yourself too hard at the beginning, you may be forced to stop your program because of pain or injury.

Try to enjoy yourself.
Exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery. If you’re not enjoying your workouts, try something different. If you’re a fair-weather walker and hate exercising in cold weather, walk the treadmill at the gym. Don’t like the gym? Try swimming or take a dance class. Remember, you’re more likely to stick with an exercise program if you’re having fun.

Track your progress.
This is where our easy to use tracking tool can help big time. Use the Lifestyle Tracker to record what you did during each exercise session and how long you exercised. Recording your efforts can help you stick to your goals and remind you that you’re making progress.

Exercise with a friend.
Hey, you’re not in this alone. Invite a friend or co-worker to join you when you exercise. Make a date to work out with your spouse or kick the soccer ball around with your kids. Try to associate with people who will support you and your goals without sabotaging them.

Reward yourself.
After each exercise session, take a few minutes to reflect on what you’ve just accomplished. Savor the good feelings that exercise gives you. When you reach a longer range goal, treat yourself to fitness-related goodie. The reward can be a massage, a new pair of walking shoes or new tunes to enjoy while you exercise.

Exercise at the right time.
If you’re not a morning person, an early morning work-out probably won’t work for you in the long term. But don’t use that as an excuse for not exercising. Determine the times of day that you feel the most energized and be consistent about fitting exercise into your schedule. Be aware that the longer you put off exercising, the harder it is to get motivated to exercise.

Be flexible.
If your schedule gets overloaded and you miss a morning or two of exercise, or simply don’t feel up to it, don’t use that an excuse to quit. Go easy on yourself if you need a short break. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can.

So what are you waiting for? Make it fun, use the Tracker to set your goals, and remember, getting regular physical activity is an important step towards feeling good in all areas of your life. Go on, get moving!