Motivation: Keys to Staying Active
You know you need to be physically active to reduce the risk of chronic disease, stress, body fat and improve your overall quality of life. Unfortunately, it's easy to get mixed up in the "how much", "how to" sort of thinking and take no action. Here's a few keys to get you into an active lifestyle:
* Set Goals. You will stay more motivated if you set goals. Identify what you want to accomplish and what steps you need take. Write them down and refer to them often. Choose both short term goals (increase exercise by five minutes each week) and long term goals (lose fifty lbs). Goals must be reasonable or you may set yourself up for failure which often results in quitting your fitness program.
*Create a Reward System. Some individuals stay motivated intrinsically but others benefit from external rewards. Don't be afraid to treat yourself if you had a great workout or lost a couple of lbs.
* Partner-up. Studies have shown that working out with a spouse, friend or group can increase commitment to exercise. Find friends who like to do the same things you do or join a group fitness class. Your dog can also be a great fitness companion for regular walks and jogs.
*Learn. The more you know about staying fit the more you will benefit and enjoy it. Do a little reading- the internet is full if free fitness sites- and use your brain cells to pump up your body.
* Inspiration. Music can add a little motivation to anyone's workout and it helps make the time go faster. Exercise videos can add variety to your program and introduce you to new types of exercise.
* Use the 90%/10% Rule. Don't try to be perfect. If you get your workouts done well 90% of the time that's good enough.
*Crosstrain. Crosstraining means performing a variety of activities. It's great for your overall fitness level and relieves boredom.
Most importantly, choose exercises you enjoy. There's a world of fitness adventure out there for everone. Find out what it is for you and once started, that's when the fun begins.
About the Author: Dr. Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge fitness information go to http://www.aerobic-exercise-coach.com