Let’s face it-we all want to be active, but getting out the door is easier said than done. Here are some tips for keeping your body moving and in the process keeping you healthy, happy and on track.
1. Make sure your exercise plan has a purpose (i.e., to run a 5k, participate in “Friday Night Lights”, Compete in The Reebok CrossFit Open, or hike an 8,000-foot peak). Once you have a detailed training plan to follow you’ll be much more likely to follow through with a regular routine, and your fitness will improve much more rapidly.
2. Talk to people! Telling friends, family and coworkers about your goal to follow through on a plan of action will hold you accountable to it. Without going overboard, mention your goal in conversation at least once a day to stay focused and keep your training on track.
3. Keep a training log. Whether you follow through with your complete workout that day or not, record your activity for the day as well as how you felt while doing it in your customized Success Journal. Record how much sleep you had the night before, how did you fuel? What you ate prior, etc. This is a great way to track outside factors that may be affecting your performance, and it will also help you to feel like you’ve really accomplished something that day
4. Make an early investment. If your goal involves something that requires an entry fee or registration, sign up early! Signing that check and choosing your T-shirt size is like signing a written agreement to follow through. When training gets tough you can tell yourself, “The check has cleared—there’s no backing out now!”
5. Find training partners. Having others to train and exercise with will not only help hold you accountable to your plan, it will make following the plan much more fun. Group trips to the coffee house or your favorite breakfast restaurant post-workout are a great motivator to get you up early on those Saturday mornings.
6. View this as YOUR time. Avoid looking at workouts as another item to check off the list, and instead view them as time that’s reserved just for you. Also, look at your active time as something that makes the rest of your day run more efficiently and that keeps you clear-headed.
7. Make an appointment with a Coach. Simply being active is only one part of the equation. By making healthy changes with regard to nutrition as well as fitness you’ll be more likely to adopt “whole” lifestyle changes that will lead to ultimate success. Participate in The Whole Life Challenge, be held accountable.
8. Involve the family. Family time is scarce to begin with, and when you add exercise into the mix it can sometimes be a limiting factor. Make a “date” with your spouse to go for a brisk walk once or twice a week, do a run or go hiking or swimming. One idea is to arrange a weekly Thursday night date night that begins with some type of sport (or Lab After Dark) and ends with dinner out. And, if you have kids, involve them in other ways. Nice long walks with your kids gives you quality time (i.e., time outside shuttling them to their practices and friends’ houses) to relate to each other, and bike rides around your neighborhood are fun for the whole family.
9. Commit to learning. Stay informed and motivated, at least twice a year buy a book that will teach you more about the scientific aspects of being healthy and fit. Knowing the “whys” behind what you’re doing will help you to make lasting changes that will enhance your health.
10. Reward yourself! While fitness is a huge reward in itself, there’s nothing wrong with giving yourself an added incentive for finishing that 10k, conquering a new mountain, Setting a PR on your Clean & Jerk or finally learning to surf. Whether it’s indulging in your favorite treat or allowing yourself to buy that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing, little rewards work!