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Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Stick to a Workout Program

The main ingredient in sticking with any workout program is:

Taken from googleimages

How does one get this? Well, for me...
Changing things up 
    • I always change my workout program every 3 months anyway to prevent plateauing. But when I do I don't only increase the weight or the repetitions. I look for something completely different. I like exercises that hit various muscle groups at once, so I go through them in a circuit and then repeat as necessary. 

    • I hate to spend a lot of time exercising. For me, quality is more important than quantity. I will always choose short, intense, workouts over workouts where you are in the gym for hours. 

    • I've also added new tools to my routine such as: fitness balls, fitness bands and steps. I'd also like to get a medicine ball and a jump rope at some point. Check out Fitness Tip: Trying something new for other tools I plan to add to my routine. 

    • I'm even thinking about joining a running club! (More on that later)
    Set goals 
      • This was one of the most important things I did for myself. I've always been into exercise and healthy living. However, I did gain weight when I left college (2006). Not a ridiculous amount, but it was 10 pounds too much! 

      • So in 2009 I gave myself a challenge: by the same time next year (2010) I wanted to be back in shape. I organized a routine by setting smaller goals for myself. That's when I started running. From there I wanted to run longer and faster, and so set my sights on races. 

      • It's good to have an overall goal to get in shape, lose weight or get a toned body. But you have to set smaller, mini, goals throughout your process to stay with it.
       Try new things

        Reward yourself 
          • For me this was going on vacation last year. I went to a few differerent cities in Portugual and then travelled to the north of Spain. After all that hard work I needed to give myself a pat on the back, as they say. Even though I still exercised during the trip in hotel rooms, it helped to reinforce why I was doing what I was doing.

          • Maybe your reward can be buying new clothes once you lose that weight or treating yourself to an ice cream once you've run that race you've always wanted.
          Taken from googleimages

          Don't give up 
          • There have been TONS of times throughout my process where I've wanted to quit, didn't feel like exercising, and just wanted to gorge on a whole box of cookies and say to heck with it! But I didn't. Maybe on a truly lazy day I would grab my husband and tell him to come with me on his bike to motivate me to run.
            • Even though he wasn't running with me I felt like I had that support to get off my butt and hit the pavement. He helps me by keeping my pace, with his encouraging words, and also carries water so I don't have to!

            Reach out to others 
              • It is so rewarding for me to be able to help family and friends by sharing my knowledge with them. They saw how dedicated I was and how I had reached and surpassed many of my own personal goals for my health. So they wanted help in their own lives as well.

              • I love going to the gym with friends and showing them how to use the machines. Or maybe giving them an exercise program full of ideas on how to get in shape. Many people come to me saying they want toned arms or to lose weight or to get healthier. So I just give them advice, things that have helped me. I always recommend that people do their own research.

              • This blog, for example, is not only for me to document my journey, but to also help anyone who needs it. Why hoard information when you can share it?

              While motivation comes from within, external sources (friends, family, aquaintances, even strangers!) can help you out. Do whatever you can to stay positive and you will succeed!

              What are some things you do to stay motivated?


              1. Thanks for another great post. Some things I do to stay motivated are:
                1. Get a workout buddy. Right now my wife and I workout 3 times a week together.
                2. Set realistic goals according to my body fat percentage. I don't set a goal to lose 10 pounds but rather lose 1% body fat.
                3. As you said, I like to mix up my routine. Yoga, pilates, bodyweight exercises, free-weights, running, cycling.
                4. Find small ways each day to improve my healthy lifestyle. One day I don't eat junk food, the next day I don't take in too much sugar.

              2. I'm jealous! I wish I could get my husband to workout with me! No success so far. Love the small ways you tackle having a healthy lifestyle each day. Makes it more manageable. Thanks for the comment!

              3. Excellent tips Samantha! Involving other people cannot be overstated. Click on my name to see my list of what motivates me (links to a similar blog post I wrote).