Sticking To A Workout Routine

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exercise routine

Photo by bandk4ever

We've all been there. We start a new month, a Monday, or a new year, with the goal to exercise every day starting now. We pay for the gym memberships, post inspiring photos of Heidi Klum (or insert model here) on the fridge, pull out the skinny jeans...anything to stay motivated. But if you're anything like me, that motivation easily dwindles at the first distraction or interruption. There's always an excuse for not having time to exercise, so here are some ways to fit in fitness.

Forbes.com just ran a story about ways to stick to a workout routine. Their tips, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians, include: listen to music, recruit an exercise partner, and switch up the activities. Fair enough. But what if you don't know how to squeeze in the time to workout? The MayoClinic has some helpful suggestions:

  • Wake up early. Getting up just 30 minutes earlier to take a walk around the neighborhood or on the treadmill will keep you on track. Some research suggests that those who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick with a routine.
  • Rethink your household chores. Put more effort into mopping the floor and scrubbing the tub to get your heart pumping. Mowing the lawn with a push mower is another great way to burn calories. Raking and hoeing strengthen your arms and back, and digging works your arms and legs.
  • Maximize TV time. Lift hand weights or put your exercise equipment (stationary bike, treadmill, etc.) in front of the screen so you get fit while being distracted.
  • Recruit the family. Go for a walk or a bike ride with the kids. Running around with a dog also helps you stay active.
  • Join a team. Whether it's a class at a fitness club, a recreational sports team, or just your friends in the neighborhood, working out with others is a good way to improve your social life while improving your health.
  • Milk your errands. Grocery shopping? Going to the mall? Wear walking shoes, park far from the store, and take extra laps inside. 
  • Take the scenic route. Walking or riding your bike to and from work, for example, is an efficient way to squeeze in fitness. Instead of using the elevator, climb the stairs.
  • Schedule a break. Instead of sitting at a restaurant or in the cafeteria for lunch, plan to use that time taking a walk or going to the gym.
  • Plan ahead. If you travel for business, bring workout clothes with you, just in case there's not a gym in the hotel or the weather is bad, have a jump rope in your bag.

How do you stay motivated? Any tips for making exercise more fun?

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