Tips to Stay Motivated with a Fitness Plan

It seems that the most difficult part of starting, or sticking to a fitness plan is just that, starting and sticking to it! Below are some helpful tips to stay motivated!

  • Ask other people to exercise with you. Ask a co-worker to walk during lunch, or ask a friend to join a gym with you. You are more likely to stick to an exercise routine if you have a partner to help motivate you, especially in the beginning. When you know someone else is waiting for you, it keeps you going!


  • Wear comfortable shoes and good socks to help cushion your feet.


  • Wear clothes that are comfortable and are right for the season. Try using layers of clothing in the cold weather to keep you warm, and cotton clothes in the summer to keep you cool.


  • Drink plenty of water. It doesn't have to be that fancy bottled stuff - get your own container and keep it filled with plenty of regular water. Carry it with you if you can.


  • Don't forget to stretch after you exercise. After your workout, your muscles are "warm" because you have a large amount of blood flow to the muscles and skin, and this is the time to stretch to prevent injury and increase flexibility. Don't "bounce" when you stretch, move into the stretching position slowly, and hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds.


  • Be safe - pay attention to your surroundings if you exercise outside, during the day or night.


  • Walk or jog in a safe place that has plenty of lights in the evening. Walk or jog around a local school's parking lot, or go to the mall and walk. Some malls have regularly scheduled walking activities.


  • Try to exercise at least three times a week. It may seem like a lot at first, but you will gradually build up. For extra motivation, mark each time you exercise on your calendar. At the end of the week you can see how well you stuck to your plan. If you didn't make your goal, keep trying!

For more information, please visit the following MedicineNet.com areas:

Portions of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (www.nhlbi.nih.gov).


Last Editorial Review: 10/15/2002