How to Stick With Your Workout Program

Working out is physically addictive in fact research has shown that if you stick with a workout program for six months it is likely to become a positive habit that will follow you for the rest of your life. But the challenge for many of us is getting through the first six days let alone the first six months! Well here is a list of things you can do to stack the deck in your favor so to speak.

  • Set realistic specific goals that motivate you. A common mistake for people new to working out is to set unrealistic goals. Let’s face it if you have been a couch potato all your life it is going to take more than couple of weeks at the gym to get you looking like the guy on the cover of the men’s health magazine. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself 1 week for every 2lb of weight you want to lose.
  • Make your workouts enjoyable.  This is a big one and can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember you will burn just as many calories jogging along a beautiful trail with a friend as you will on the treadmill at your local gym. Be creative and find workout activities you enjoy.   
  • Track your progress Anything you can do to track your progress and give you feed back will help to reinforce that your workouts are actually working! It can be as simple as weighing yourself once a week and marking it on a calendar. Or as high tech as buying a heart rate monitor and electronicly tracking your resting heart rate VO2 and other vitals.  
  • Find a workout partner Finding someone to workout with will not only make your workouts more enjoyable, you can also help motivate each other. Some days you are bound  feel more pumped  than others to get to the gym but a good workout partner will help provide that extra push when you need it.
  • Listen to music It’s amazing how something as simple as putting on your favorite workout mix can transform an otherwise boring 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer.
  • Workout first thing in the morning By working out first thing when you wake up you get it out of the way. Working out early also jumpstarts your metabolism and helps you to feel more alert throughout the day.
  • Go everyday Working out every day is actually psychologically easier then only going say 3 days a week. When you go everyday there will be no mentally struggle whether or not you should skip a day and make it up on one of your days off.   
  • Blackmail yourself  If all else fails it’s here’s a way to get some real leverage on yourself. Write a check equal to one month’s paycheck and give it to one of your friend. Tell them that you will contact them once a day to report that you successfully made it to the gym but that if you miss a day they are to cash the check and spend the money one whatever they like.

Posted under Health, Other

This post was written by David White on November 26, 2008

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