by Scott Silveira, MS, RCEP
Exercise Physiologist at California Health & Longevity Institute
Maintaining commitment to a fitness plan is hard work. Time and life can get in the way. How then can we increase our motivation and likelihood to develop good fitness habits?
Consider the following seven strategies:
1. Take small steps.
We call this Kaizen. It is better to under commit and over deliver than to set unrealistic goals.
2. Set clear goals.
A desire to get into better shape or lose weight is too vague. Make your goals clear and measurable. Setting an intention to exercise after work Monday and Thursday for 30-minutes will set you up for success.
3. Celebrate your Success
We all respond better to positive reinforcement than negative feedback. Instead of beating yourself up for not reaching a goal, celebrate your small wins.
4. Surround yourself with Support
Support can be exercising with a friend, taking a group exercise class, or working with a personal trainer. Team work makes the dream work!
5. Stay Informed
The more we understand how a specific task relates to our goals the more likely we will be motivated to follow through. If you avoid certain types of exercises, find out why they are good for your health and overall fitness.
6. Remove Barriers
Barriers to working out can be as small as the weather or lack of desire to change into workout attire. Try to plan for your mental excuses. For example, if it’s raining outside plan a go-to indoor workout.
7. Build Barriers
Make it hard on yourself not to exercise. Set up an appointment with a friend, class or trainer that holds you accountable.
Change is a process and old habits die hard but adopting new habits like exercising and healthy eating can have drastic health benefits. Over time, if you stick to a fitness plan you may find extra energy and fitness may become a natural part of your daily lifestyle.