How do you stay motivated to exercise?

Exercising is probably the most important thing you can do to stay physically and mentally healthy and slow down the aging process. But staying motivated is one of the biggest problems for almost anyone starting or maintaining an exercise program.

Here are some tips that may help:

  • Find a good reason — e.g. to lose weight, lower your blood pressure, reduce stress or best to take responsibility for your health.
  • Make it fun. It is about moving your body, so do whatever you can to move that turns you on….hiking in the woods, dancing around your living room or playing with your kids.
  • Change your routine often to avoid boredom. Variety keeps it interesting and fun, and also stresses different muscles, making for a well-rounded workout.
  • Get rid of the “all or nothing” mentality. A small workout is better than no workout.
  • Exercise with a partner to motivate and keep each other going.
  • Try classes — the group may be helpful and social.
  • Use an ipod and exercise to music you enjoy.
  • Work out with a trainer if feasible.
  • Make achievable goals and update them when they’re reached.
  • Reward yourself when goals are achieved.
  • Keep performance records to keep striving forward.
  • View your progress realistically — for instance, if weight training, 2 lbs. more resistance doesn’t sound like much, but done every week is over 100 lbs. a year!
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