6 Adopt a new attitude
Be a little selfish about your exercise time. Schedule it, commit to it and protect it by gently reminding intruders – including your spouse and children – that sorry, you’re busy doing something important and that exercise is a priority you’ll be sticking with. Do the same at work. Don’t let peer pressure force you to eat lunch with the usual gang when you’ve planned to be outside walking.
7 Celebrate fitness success
Consider keeping an exercise journal to note your personal observations, and think about monitoring your energy levels, body measurements, sleep patterns or sports performance – anything that would improve as a direct result of your new exercise patterns. When you show improvement, as you inevitably will, don’t forget to reward yourself!
8 Stay motivated
Goals, treats, inspiration, fun and lots of positive self-coaching can help you stick with your new fitness plan. There are many ways to do this. Get a portable music player and load it with upbeat music so you can have fun listening whenever you’re on the go; create an inspiration wall from a family notice board or cork board to display logs of your improving health statistics, photos of you as you slim down and other motivating photos or quotes; and constantly keep up the positive self-talk (“I can do it!”) and ban negative self-talk (“I can’t do it”).
9 Work with – not against – your body
You need to respect your unique physical limitations. For example, if a physical condition makes it difficult for you to walk, there are many other wonderful ways to keep moving for 20 minutes, whether swimming or using a rowing machine or merely doing calisthenics in a chair. Just as important, play to your physical strengths. If you have strong legs, resume a hiking or cycling regimen. If you have strong arms, there are plenty of sports, such as tennis and softball, that are great for you. It’s not the specific activity that matters; just that you are active. Improvise as required for your unique needs.
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