For every ten people who begin a fitness program, as many as seven will drop out in less than six months. Here are ways to help you from contributing to the drop-out statistics.
1 Start slowly
Make just one small change at a time. That’s the best way to guarantee that the changes you make will become permanent. Remember, you are making changes that should last the rest of your life. Don’t rush them.
2 Avoid boredom
It’s among the top reasons people drop out of exercise regimens; after all, who wants to be bored? Take it upon yourself to keep things fresh. Vary your walking route or work in new activities to keep your routine fun and different. Do your usual walk in reverse, go cycling next week instead of walking, stop and investigate outdoor places and activities that have always piqued your interest.
3 Surround yourself with support
Some people can stay more committed if they have a regular fitness partner. In one US study that tracked 309 people for two years, those who had a support group lost 30 per cent more weight than those who dieted alone. If you can find someone who shares your enthusiasm and exercises at the same pace and for the same length of time as you do, you’ll be more likely to stick with your plan – and have fun along the way.
4 Dress for success
Comfortable pants or shorts and a top made from breathable material such as cotton will do just fine for most basic exercise programs. Make sure you have clothes you love to be in. Clothing should motivate you, not embarrass or irritate you.
5 Fuel up
Nothing takes the pleasure out of an activity more than running out of energy. Too little water or too little food beforehand can make that happen, so make sure you’re hydrated and not hungry before you start out. If you think you’ll be exerting yourself, have a large glass of water and a healthy snack 30 minutes before starting. If you’re active for more than 30 minutes, make sure you drink more water every 15 to 20 minutes.
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