Weight Loss; A Lifestyle Change Forever
Weight Loss; A Lifestyle Change Forever
If you want to lose weight, it is simply not enough to begin an exercise program. You must also be able to stick with it. This can be challenging, especially if you have spent most of your life as a couch potato. You may find exercise to be boring or a chore. And you may be wondering whether your exercise program is worth the effort because the results aren’t immediate.
The key to any successful exercise program is discipline and dedication. This means that you need to commit to it for the long haul—in fact, it is best if you commit to it for the rest of your life. Certainly, it can be difficult at times. But in the end, it is well worth the effort.
Staying motivated will begin with having a realistic goal. For instance, if you are basically inactive when you start your program, you should aim to exercise for at least 15 minutes a day. If you are fairly active when you start exercising, your goal should be 30 minutes a day. But you must also have a long-term goal. For example, lose 20 lbs. in 6 months and keep it off or walk or run a 5k race.
You might consider starting an exercise log. Here, you will record exactly what kind of cardiovascular training, resistance training, and stretching exercises you do each week. Be sure to include the number of repetitions and weights you’re performing with each exercise. This way, you’ll have a concrete chart for your progress. Seeing how well you’re doing can be truly inspiring and can keep you going when you find it difficult to go on.
Another effective motivational strategy is to join a group that engages in exercise. For instance, you might become a nature walker, or you might find a local dance club to join. Other possibilities include hiking groups, golfing groups, softball teams, or even tennis teams. The fact that you are part of a social network will help to keep you motivated.
You might try motivating yourself by using a computer screensaver which says, “Get moving.” Or you might post a “get moving” post-it on your refrigerator. In other words, you should be constantly reminded of the value of exercise. You might also invest in home exercise equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical trainer, or free weights. The amount of money you spend could be a powerful incentive for making sure that you use the equipment on a regular basis. You should also place the equipment in a place where you will have to see it often. After a while, you’ll find no excuse not to exercise.
You might also consider investing in exercise videos or DVDs. These allow you the convenience of exercising in the privacy of your own home. The videos give you an “exercise instructor” who can help keep you inspired even on rainy days when you don’t feel like exercising at all.
Another effective idea is to place your sneakers near the door so that you are reminded of the need to walk rather than drive. You might also consider rewarding yourself for staying disciplined with your exercise program. Your reward could be a cruise or a new outfit. The idea is to make sure that your accomplishment is celebrated. Notice I did not say reward yourself with food.
While we’re on the topic of celebration, seriously consider throwing a party once you’ve reached a big milestone. You can serve healthy snacks and beverages and even encourage your guests to come in their exercise clothes in order to build upon the party’s theme. Sharing your excitement can help to motivate you to continue onto bigger goals.
Understand there are many different forms of exercise, so experiment and find the one that you like best. But you do need to make sure that whatever you do is effective and that you’re sufficiently motivated to do it. By following just a few simple tips, you can ensure that your exercise routine is not just a fad, that it will continue over the long term. Remember that you may face setbacks from time to time, but that shouldn’t stop you from continuing to try to reach your exercise goals.