Keeping with the Program
Rates of obesity and being overweight are on the increase with Australia now ranked as having one of the most overweight populations amongst developed nations. Staggeringly, I recently heard one nutritionist say that on current projections 80% of Australians will be overweight or obese by 2023. This brings severe long-term health risks to those affected. Exercise will help to combat this and should also make you feel positive about changing your lifestyle.
You may have made up your mind to do a bit more exercise for a variety of reasons. There are several tactics you can put in place to make exercise something that you can sustain and see as an enjoyable part of your life rather than an attempt at a quick fix that will last only a few weeks.
• If you have some health-related goals be clear in your mind what they are and write them down. Ideally, they should be proper goals with all the attendant qualities, ie they need to be measurable, specific, attainable, realistic and relevant, and have a time frame. These types will work better than just having a goal of working out a certain number of times a week.
• Be clear when you can accomplish your exercise. Write the times you plan to exercise in your diary so that other commitments will be less likely to conflict.
• The exercise that you choose, be it gym workout, class etc should be something you find fun and therefore will enjoy.
• Train with a buddy. If your buddy is having a day when he or she is thinking about not exercising the commitment to you will help and vice versa.
• If your current capability only allows for short durations of exercise then this is OK and you can attempt a few short bursts during a day rather than trying one session that may be too long for you.
• At the beginning do not attempt the hardest exercise or exercise class possible. It would be too demotivating if you are not able to finish it or become too fatigued. Try something easier that you will be able to complete; then you should feel good about that achievement.
• Distract yourself a little by listening to music or talking to your training buddy.
• Find a place to train that fits into your day with a little effort from you. If it’s too convenient you may find other distractions will interfere or maybe you will not train at all.
• Put a few subtle reminders around the place to remind you to train…..your workout clothing by the front door or your training shoes in the car.
• Remind yourself of your goals regularly to assess where you are in terms of completing these goals.
Every time you complete a session, congratulate yourself on a job well done and finally never write off a week just because you have got to Wednesday night and not had a workout. Just resolve to train the next day and realise that sometimes other priorities will have to come first.