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Get back on track and start getting in shape for the summer

Remember when you said you were going to exercise more this year to get in shape for summer? Did that exercise program somehow fade away?

“To get back on track with your exercise program, you only need 3 things,” says Joshua Klapow, PhD.

Information. You need to know what exercises to do.
Several organizations provide free exercise information: The American Heart Association (http://www.americanheart.org/), The President’s Council on Fitness (http://www.fitness.gov/), and the Department of Health and Human Services (http://www.smallstep.gov/).

Motivation. You have to want to get back on track.
So what if you are losing interest? Here a simple exercise to increase your motivation. Write down your answers to these questions:

If I don’t exercise:

  • How will I look this summer?
  • How will I feel this summer?
  • What will my health be like in 5 years?
  • How will my health affect family and friends?

Most people find that writing these answers down helps to remind them of why they decided to exercise in the first place. It boosts their motivation.

Skills. You need to know how to change your habits.

Change your habits the SMART way:

  • Set a new exercise goal. Start fresh today with a realistic goal for the summer. It’s better to keep it easy at first. You can always get more difficult.
  • Monitor your exercise. Keeping track of what you are doing is going to help you actually do it. So grab that calendar, put it on the fridge and mark down every time you exercise.
  • Arrange for success. Make it easy to exercise. If you plan to exercise in the morning, take your clothes out the night before. If you want to exercise on the way home from work, make sure your gym bag is packed and in the car.
  • Recruit a support team. The research clearly shows having others support you in your efforts will help you be a success. Ask friends and family to provide support.
  • Treat your actions. Reward yourself. Plan out how you are going to treat yourself for sticking with your new exercise goals.
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