You’ve done the right thing by scheduling your weekly workouts for the next six months, but putting exercise on your calendar is the easy part. The real challenge is actually following your workout schedule. To help keep you on track, here are six tips for sticking to your fitness plan.
Recruit a fitness buddy
If penciling in fitness each day isn’t enough motivation to sweat, then start working out with a fitness friend who will hold you accountable and help you keep to your exercise schedule. Not only is sweating together more fun than going it alone, partner fitness may just push you to work out harder.
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Avoid exercise interruption
Insulate yourself from getting interrupted while exercising by scheduling your workouts when the kids otherwise occupied. Schedule exercise for when the kids are at school or put them in childcare at the gym. You might even consider enlisting a family member to watch after the kiddos during your exercise time. Since you already have your workout schedule set, you can make advance arrangements.
Streamline your workout prep
Rummaging for workout clothing or searching for your favorite fitness DVD when the exercise time clock is counting down wastes precious sweat time. The night before every workout, set your clothing and shoes out for easy dressing and, if you work out at home, cue up your workout video along with any needed fitness props.
Dress for fitness success
Speaking of workout attire, you’ll feel far more enthused to stick to your exercise schedule if you dress in outfits that make you look and feel good. Buy a couple of flattering fitness wear sets that actually make you excited to exercise.
Be flexible with your fitness
Your workout schedule isn’t set in stone. Make room for changes in your fitness routine by having alternative exercise times or types of workouts in case something comes up, such as sick kids, a work deadline or missing your alarm. Being mentally prepared to substitute a fitness DVD at home for that Spin class at the gym will keep you from stressing over a missed workout, as well as keep you on par with your exercise schedule.
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Reward yourself for your exercise efforts
Keep your exercise motivation high by rewarding yourself every week with a treat — preferably non-caloric. If it’s in your budget, schedule a massage or a mani/pedi, or do something more rewarding — and free — like going for a hike or to the park with your kids. Attach your exercise efforts to a pleasurable event so you know you’ve got something to look forward to as a reward for your hard work.