· SET A GOAL-no goal is too small. It is actually better to set small achievable goals. Once you reach them, you will be motivated to continue and you can always increase your goal. If you set a goal that is too big and do not achieve it, you will have a sense of failing and may not try again.
· CHOOSE ACTIVITIES THAT YOU ENJOY-any activity that gets your body moving for at least 10 minute intervals counts as exercise.
· VARIETY IS KEY-Performing the same exercise routine every day will lead to boredom. Alternate days of aerobic exercises with days containing resistance/weight training. You should also vary the aerobic exercises-walk one day, bike, and swim. Yoga and Tai Chi are other exercises you can include both for exercise and relaxation/stress relief.
· CHOOSE A CONVENIENT TIME AND PLACE-if you are a night owl, don’t plan to walk before work-it won’t happen! Listen to your body and try to exercise during the time of day that you feel the most energetic.
· DON”T OVERDO IT-if you are just starting out, go slowly. If you end up in pain with extremely sore muscles you may choose to skip days of exercise.
· EXERCISE WITH A FRIEND-time goes much quicker when you have someone to talk to . ( I bet you thought I was going to say “misery loves company” but I refuse to! You may actually enjoy yourself).
· LISTEN TO MUSIC OR WATCH TV-this may be one of the few chances you get to catch up on the news or a favorite TV show during your busy day. Again, time passes quicker with distractions.
· SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE-spend more time with those that cheer you on than with those trying to talk you into happy hour instead of your walk in the park. (Go after your walk and limit your alcoholic intake)
· FINALLY-REWARD YOURSELF- when you reach a goal reward yourself with a NON-CALORIC treat like a massage or a shopping trip or anything you enjoy (besides food).
REMEMBER-if you fall “off the wagon” it is never too late to get back on! We are all human and have our “off” days. Don’t look at it as failure-just a little break in your routine. You can be successful-keep a positive attitude and HAVE FUN!
For more exercise tips visit http://www.heart-strong.com