Stay Focused to Get Fit

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get fitWith any luck, spring has finally sprung in your neck of the woods. Long gone and all but forgotten are the cold, dreary and dark days of winter. But what about your New Year’s fitness resolutions? Have those been left in the past as well? Chances are good they have been; studies show that 50% of the people who start a new exercise program give up during the first three to six months. And experts agree that the number of people who quit after starting at the beginning of a New Year might be even higher. So how do you stay on track? Keep reading for tips to stay motivated through the spring—so you can look and feel your best come
summer.

Find Your Motivating Factors
What drives you to get into shape? Whether you just started exercising or you’ve been hitting the gym four times a week for years, there must be more than one reason you want to become or stay fit. Remind yourself of those factors by sitting down and making a list of everything that motivates you toward better health. Perhaps you’re prepping for a big event like a wedding or reunion. Maybe you want to prevent heart disease, be around to see your grandchildren grow up, or just plain look better in a bathing suit. Whatever your reasons, write them down and then post your list in a place you’ll often see it. Affixing it to the inside of the closet where you keep your sneakers is a sneaky way to constantly remind yourself of everything you’re working so hard to achieve.

Set Some Goals
Now that you’ve figured out why you work out, it’s important to set goals that you can work toward. The key is to set achievable and realistic targets; losing 25 pounds is certainly achievable, but shedding it all in two weeks isn’t very realistic. Instead of throwing yourself toward a goal and then becoming frustrated and losing motivation once you can’t meet it, experts suggest setting a long-term goal and then creating short-term objectives to help keep you on track. If you need help with goal setting, you might want to seek the help of a wellness coach who can offer personalized guidance: Visit www.wellcoach.com to find a
certified coach in your area.

Reward Yourself
Often, the personal satisfaction of meeting a goal isn’t incentive enough. Instead, promise yourself a great gift for each goal you reach. Just make sure your goals don’t involve food, as this can be counterproductive for anyone looking to lose weight or eat more healthily.

Choosing a reward that fits your goals is a better option. If your goal is to run in a local race, think about choosing rewards like buying a new pair of running shoes or maybe getting a massage to ease sore muscles. But rewards need not cost money. Promising yourself an hour of quiet time to read a book or take a bath can be just as rewarding as anything you find in the store.

Switch It Up
The return of warmer weather can feel like a reward in and of itself. Take advantage of longer, lighter days by taking your workout out of the gym and learning a new and healthy sport. By switching up your fitness routine, you’re more likely to stay active and stay in shape. A study published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal proved this point: Researchers found that people who performed a variety of fitness activities better enjoyed exercising and stuck with it longer than people who kept to the same activity.

From biking and hiking to running and rollerblading, there are numerous ways to work up a sweat this spring and enjoy yourself in the process–and when it comes down to it, making exercise fun will always be the number one way to stay motivated.

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