Don’t wait until January 1. Stay on track during this tempting season with these simple tips. ’Tis the season of staying fit, said no one ever. Busy schedules, holiday parties, and endless culinary temptations combine to make it especially difficult to stick to your fitness routine this time of year. Chances are, you’re going to fall off the workout wagon. That’s okay—we all do. Use these strategies to get right back on.
Stay-Fit Strategy #1: Remember Why You’re Doing It
When a client loses his or her motivation, corrective exercise specialist Kendra Fitzgerald prescribes a mental workout. What’s your motivation? To feel better, have more energy, be more productive at work, or age gracefully, it’s easier to commit the time and stick to it once you identify why you are working out.
Stay-Fit Strategy #2: Start Small and Be Realistic
If your goal is to exercise daily, begin with one or two days a week. Pick days where you can easily fit it in. Add another day as each week goes by. Even if you can’t get to your favorite class or the Oasis, remember that 15 minutes of movement is better than no movement at all.
Stay-Fit Strategy #3: Picture Your Success
Write down your goal in a few simple words, and post it where you’ll see it every day. A visual reminder may strengthen your resolve. If you want to get back to your “fighting weight” of five years ago, put up a photo of yourself from that time.
Stay-Fit Strategy #4: Make It Mandatory
Time management is important for accomplishing any goal, and fitness is no exception. Even if it’s just 10 minutes, put it on your calendar. Call it your “feel better session,” and make that time nonnegotiable. You’ll boost your mood and health, and it will become a key part of your routine.
Stay-Fit Strategy #5: Track Your Progress Daily
Record your achievements daily or weekly: how many steps you walked, number of exercise reps, pounds lost, and so on. A pen and paper and a calendar will work just fine, or you can schedule and log your workouts on a free exercise app Stay-Fit.
Strategy #6: Recruit Someone to Hold You Accountable
Maintaining an ongoing schedule with the same person can help you stay accountable. You’ll want to hold up your part of the bargain. Plus, you can get a great workout while having a great time. Think about it: The more fun your workouts are, the more you’re going to look forward to and be committed to them over the long term. And consistency and longevity are necessary for achieving your goals.
Stay-Fit Strategy #7: Hold Yourself Accountable Too
Put your money where your mouth is: Pay a penalty for missing your workouts. Drop a dollar in a money jar, and then donate the dough to a favorite cause.
Stay-Fit Strategy #8: Savor Every Success
There’s no better feeling than finishing a challenging workout. Let the feeling of accomplishment wash over you, so that you’ll remember the feeling when it’s time for your next workout.
And make no mistake: This is a big deal! You’ve just rewarded yourself with better health this winter—and a happier, fuller, and potentially longer life.