Tips for Creating an Exercise Program You Will Stick With

TIP #1
Make The Commitment

A. Make exercise a priority

  • Say YES to exercise as an important priority. Remember, if you are pressed for time, you can split your 30 minute exercise session into 3 ten minutes mini-workouts.
  • Say NO to less important things.

B. Make the time

  • Schedule you workouts. Write them into your weekly planner/ calendar just like any other important commitment. (Are you willing to schedule the time to take care of one of your most important resources --your body and your health?)

C. Get motivated - Stay motivated by making it SOCIAL!

  • Build physical activity into your social calendar. For example, instead of brunch, meet your friend for a brief walk before coffee.
  • Find a friend that you will work out with at least once per week.
  • Join or form a walking, hiking or biking group.
  • Make a light-hearted bet with a friend that you will stick with your new program longer than he/she will, walk a mile faster etc.
  • Write down the positive benefits of exercise and post them on your refrigerator or bathroom or bedroom mirror.
  • Write down all your excuses for not exercising then toss them in the trash!

TIP #2
Set Positive Goals... and Rewards

A. Set both short and long term goals

  • Examples for short term goals:
    1. You will get out of the door for 3 workout sessions during the first week...three 20 minute brisk walks

    2. You will stick with your program for an entire week. (Write down your workouts in a log/calendar...Buy a 'week at a time ' calendar to help you keep track.)
    3. You will make it to the 18th hole without getting breathless.
  • Examples for long term goals:
    4. At the 18th hole you will feel energized and invigorated.
    5. You will be able to walk a mile in 15 minutes 3 months from today

B. Set fun rewards

  • Treat yourself to:
    1. A massage, manicure, facial or mini-spa day
    2. A new workout outfit, a new sports watch.
    3. Treat yourself to the movies, a play, or a concert

Tip # 3
Get Movin'

A. Aerobic exercise has many benefits:

  • Promotes and maintains weight loss
  • Promotes self confidence
  • Boosts mood and energy
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Helps manage stress, anxiety, depression
  • Provides a healthy outlet for anger

B. Get in a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. Remember you can split your activity into 3 ten minute sessions.

  • Try gardening, walking, any physical activity counts.

C. Perform 3 thirty minute focused aerobic/ heart healthy workouts each week.

  • Try fitness walking, hiking, jogging, or biking, any vigorous physical activity counts. Move as if you are 5 minutes latefor an appointment.

D. Perform 2 to 3 supplementary, less intense, 30 minute workouts per week. Have fun during your supplementary exercise sessions.

  • Get out for 9 holes of golf or go swimming.
  • Take a dog for a walk.
  • Take your child, your grandchild, your friend's child on a fun outing... Walk to the park with your small companion ; skip on the way home.

TIP #4

A. Building muscle mass and strength has great benefits:

  • Muscle burns more calories than fat
  • Being strong improves your self-confidence
  • Being strong improves your posture
  • Being strong prevents frailty in the elderly
  • Being strong helps you maintain your independence
  • Being strong helps you perform the daily tasks of life

B. Do at least 2 (preferably 3) 20 minute strength training exercise routines that work your body's major muscle groups. {see the 20 minute strength training workout in ShapeWalking: Six Easy Steps to a Healthier Life}

  • Shoulder Blade Squeeze...This exercise is important for improving posture - performing it builds muscles that holds the shoulder blades in proper position

  • Wall push -up...This exercise strengthens shoulder, arms, and back.
  • Buttocks Extension Great exercise if you do NOT have buns of steel. These muscles support the lower back, have major importance in moving your lower body...Toned buttocks look GREAT!

TIP #5
Get Flexible

A. Benefits of flexibility through stretching:

  • Reduces stiffness
  • Increases range of motion
  • Promotes a sense of well-being
  • Relaxes mind and body
  • Prevents injuries, such as muscle strains
  • Improves your ability to perform daily tasks

B. Remember to stretch for at least 5 minutes at the end of your workout. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds.

  • Pectoral Stretch (front of shoulder): The pecs tend to be chronically tight. Stretching this lowers risk of shoulder injury and helps with posture.

  • Quadriceps Stretch (front of thigh): The quadriceps hold the knee in the proper position. Stretching this muscle helps proper functioning of the knee joint.

  • Inner Thigh

TIP #6
Spruce it up -- Add variety

A. Change the scenery .. walk around a lake...check out a river, try a new neighborhood or mall.

B. Add challenge and change...hills, stairs

C. Vary the intensity of your workout by (intervals) ...mixing periods of different intensity exercise.

  • Time intervals; Walk, run, jog at a moderate pace for 5 minutes...speed up for 30 seconds every 5 minutes. Work up to a 1 minute burst of speed every 5 minutes.
  • Distance interval: Walk or jog for 5 or 6 blocks...speed up for the next block and repeat. Biking---speed up for a half mile every 3 miles

D. Think of new things to do - You've got a good start, now stick with it!

  • It is TIME to try out yoga, speed skating etc.
  • Make a social weekend of it. Add Bed and Breakfast.

Above all else Have Fun!

ShapeWalking : Six Easy Steps to a Healthier Life
by: Dr. Bach, Ph.D. with Lorie Schleck, M.A., P.T.
The Heart Smart Pak - for $14.95 + S/H you receive the book and a free workout band when you order from Mother Pickle Distributing at: 1 888 319 2365
Available in local bookstores or click here.
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