Fitness basics (23)
- Tool: Target heart rate calculator
- Fitness training: Elements of a well-rounded routine
- Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity
- see all in Fitness basics
Stretching and flexibility (3)
- Stretching: Focus on flexibility
- How fit are you? See how you measure up
- Hamstring injury
Aerobic exercise (13)
- Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health
- Rev up your workout with interval training
- Walking: How to start a walking group
- see all in Aerobic exercise
Strength training (9)
- Fitness ball exercises: How-to video collection
- Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier
- Functional fitness training: Is it right for you?
- see all in Strength training
Sports nutrition (3)
- Eating and exercise: 5 tips to maximize your workouts
- Performance-enhancing drugs: Know the risks
- Water: How much should you drink every day?
Fitness: Tips for staying motivated
4. Put it on paper
Are you hoping to lose weight? Boost your energy? Sleep better? Manage a chronic condition? Write it down. Seeing the benefits of regular exercise on paper may help you stay motivated.
You may also find it helps to keep an exercise diary. Record what you did during each exercise session, how long you exercised and how you felt afterward. Recording your efforts can help you work toward your goals — and remind you that you're making progress.
5. Join forces with friends, neighbors or others
You're not in this alone. Invite friends or co-workers to join you when you exercise. Work out with your partner or other loved ones. Play soccer with your kids. Organize a group of neighbors to take fitness classes at a local health club.
6. Reward yourself
After each exercise session, take a few minutes to savor the good feelings that exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise. External rewards can help, too. When you reach a longer range goal, treat yourself to a new pair of walking shoes or new tunes to enjoy while you exercise.
7. Be flexible
If you're too busy to work out or simply don't feel up to it, take a day or two off. Be gentle with yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can.
Now that you've regained your enthusiasm, get moving! Set your goals, make it fun and pat yourself on the back from time to time. Remember, physical activity is for life. Review these tips whenever you feel your motivation slipping.Previous page
(2 of 2)
- Toft UN, et al. Diet and Exercise Intervention in a General Population — Mediators of Participation and Adherence: The Inter99 Study. European Journal of Public Health. 2007;17:455.
- Scioli ER, et al. Personal motivation, exercise, and smoking behaviors among young adults. Behavioral Medicine. 2009;35:57.
- Suija K, et al. Physical activity of depressed patients and their motivation to exercise: Nordic walking in family practice. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research. 2009;32:132.
- 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- Huberty JL, et al. Explaining long-term exercise adherence in women who complete a structured exercise program. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. 2008;79:374.
- Physical activity: Motivation. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/growingstronger/motivation/index.html. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- Tips for increasing physical activity. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity/increase-physical-activity.html. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- Reducing sedentary behaviors: Sitting less and moving more. American College of Sports Medicine. http://www.acsm.org/access-public-information/brochures-fact-sheets/brochures. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 27, 2012.
- Tips to help you get more active. Weight-control Information Network. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/tips.htm. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.