6 tips to make your fitness goals stick
Make your fitness goals stick by staying happy, healthy and motivated.
You made a commitment to get fit, which for many of us is a lot like dating. At first, you're eager to go because it's exciting and new. Then, one day you're a little too busy for the same old routine.
Here's how to keep yourself going until you reach your fitness goals.
1. Find a workout friend.
Surveys show that nearly 90 percent of people prefer companionship (at least some of the time) when they work out. Plus, you're far more likely to get to the gym as planned when someone's waiting for you.
Your workout buddy could even be your better half. Researchers at Indiana University found that only 8 percent of men and women who exercised with their spouses quit a prescribed exercise program, compared to half of those who went it alone.
2. Do something every day.
It takes 60 days to form a habit. Many people never cement an exercise habit because they're too inconsistent, exercising three or four random days a week, which soon slides to one or two…and then none.
Your body needs activity every single day. Commit to daily exercise even if it's just a 10-minute walk or 5 minutes of stretching. When a little daily activity becomes the norm, you'll be more likely to do more on any given day than do nothing.
3. Find your fun.
No one had to force you to play when you were a kid; they had to make you stop. There's no reason exercise as an adult can't be fun, too. Try a variety of activities such as Zumba, Spinning, yoga, walking, swimming and boot camp classes until you find what strikes your fancy.
4. Schedule it.
Lack of time is the top reason people cite for quitting, or never starting, exercising. Yet surveys show that people who exercise regularly don't have more hours of leisure time than those who don't. They just manage their time to fit it in.
Schedule your workout as you would any appointment. Block it off in your calendar. Then stick to it.
5. Switch it up.
You may love steak salad. But would you still be excited about it if you ate it every day? Likely not. Do the same exercise routine day in and day out and you'll get bored. You'll also stop seeing results. Exercise works because your body adapts to the challenges you throw at it by getting stronger and fitter. Beat boredom and keep results coming by changing your routine every three to four weeks.
6. Work toward a specific goal.
Personal fitness goals are good. But motivation can wane when you're chipping away at numbers on a scale. Put your efforts toward a greater good by signing up for an event like a 5K walk or run that benefits a charity. Having an event on the calendar will keep you motivated, and you'll feel good knowing that you're contributing to something worthwhile.