Wondering how to stay motivated to sticking to this year’s exercise regimen? Think like a baby. Yes, that’s right: The best way to start a workout is by taking the baby S.T.E.P.S.
Even a seasoned fitness enthusiast can be prone to a little burnout and thus need a major boost to stay inspired and have fun exercising.
STEPS: Schedule, Time, Energize, Progression, Support
S – Schedule your workout sessions, even if they are daily, just as you meticulously schedule your business meetings and luncheons, spa treatments and manicures. They get a highlighted spot in your Daytimer or Blackberry.
T – Time your workouts starting with as little as 10 minutes a day. Research shows that these short workouts can really make a difference.
If you think short bursts of exercise aren’t worth it, try one of the following for 10 straight minutes: 1) running 7 mph on a treadmill, 2) bodyweight-only squats, 3) jumping rope, 4) walking lunges while holding 10-pound dumbbells or even no weights. Ten minutes matter – so don’t forego exercise all together on those hectic days when 30 minutes of exercise seems impossible to squeeze in. You don’t have to go to the gym either – you can do these at home!
E – Energize your exercise with music that you love with a tempo or beat of 123-144 beats per minute. How do you know? Simply count the beats for 6 seconds and add a zero to estimate.
P – Progression is important to stay on track so start with stretching and simple moves. If you’re new to structured exercise or if you haven’t worked out regularly for a long time, build up to a short walk. Then work up to a jog or incline. Most people give up on exercise because they are too sore or in pain.
A little soreness is okay, but don’t try to set records or map out unrealistic goals. The formula to fitness success is similar to the formula to business success: Set realistic goals with realistic timelines, and create sub-goals to keep you fired up. And don’t over-analyze or over-complicate matters. Remember, the human body was designed to move.
S – Support yourself with a team of friends or family to exercise with. People who work out in groups are more likely to stick to their program.
Get emotional about your workouts. Emotions (“I want to run along the Lake Shore with my teenagers”) keep you pumping and jumping, whereas relying upon logic (“I want to prevent Type II diabetes) can become monotonous and tedious.
Talk to your support team and tweak your goals to make workouts even more exciting. For instance, a “lower my blood pressure or prevent osteoporosis” frame of mind sounds like drudgery. Reset your goals to something like: “Never ask a man at the office to change the water cooler bottle!” or “Never being out of breath taking the stairs.”
Most major decisions in life are based on emotion. Sticking to exercise is a lifestyle change and making it a never-ending adventure keeps your mindset moving in the best direction – step by step!