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Staying on Track with Your Exercise Program — an article on the Smart Living Network
September 19, 2010 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Staying on Track with Your Exercise Program

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Without consistency, even the best workout programs cannot succeed. Once you have made the decision to take an active role in living a better life through exercise, the next step is to make sure that you follow through with it. Countless excuses and situations might stand in your way, but ultimately, it is up to you. These are some suggestions to keep you on track.

Set the Right Goals

There are two different types of goals: long term and short term. Both are essential for different reasons. Your long term vision is the result you constantly strive for, while the short term accomplishments keep you motivated along the way. Create reasonable short term goals and write them down. Better yet, post them around the house as a reminder. They should be challenging, but not unrealistic, and will vary from person to person. When you achieve one of the goals, it will inspire you to keep going, and that is how you build momentum. Too many people make the mistake of having goals designed to take long periods of time, and then become discouraged while waiting to attain them. Instead, a series of short term goals helps you stick with your program as you move closer and closer to the long term ones.

Have the Right Exercise Program

Before you start any exercise routine, take the time to understand what your physical needs are. Everyone has a different body type, and you should find out what will work best for your specific situation. Also, ask yourself what you are trying to achieve. Is it to lose weight, add muscle, build strength, or all of the above? These are all areas to consider when deciding which exercises to do and how many sets to include. Trying to use the wrong workout plan for your body causes a lack of results and is another avoidable road block to your fitness success.

Benefits of a Support System

If exercising alone is making you lose interest, invite a friend, relative, or spouse to work out with you. In addition to inspiring you and maintaining your interest, it will be more enjoyable. Plus, you are much less likely to skip a workout if you know someone else is relying on you. Be careful not to compare yourself to anyone else or be overly competitive. Remember that your individual goals are unique, and that they are your main concern.

Change Your Exercise Plan

Over time, the same exercise program can become repetitive. Your body has the ability to adapt to situations and will eventually reach a plateau. When you stop seeing consistent results, a lack of motivation can follow, so switch to different exercises every so often and keep your muscles excited and engaged. At the same time, you will be making the workouts less repetitive and more productive.

Staying Inspired

It is easy to think inspiring thoughts, but how do you really stay inspired? Visual reminders work well for motivation in the same way they do for goals. Post sayings that inspire you and thoughts about what you can do all around you. Surrounding yourself with positive messages will keep your mind and spirit on track. Creativity during your workouts is an incredibly effective source of inspiration. Play music that drives you to give your best with each and every repetition, and envision the results of the exercise you are performing with your mind. You can literally see the transformation as it happens, and nothing is more inspiring than that.

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/10-workout-secrets-expert-exercise-tips

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=801

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