Fitness Programs That Fit (cont.)

To help you stay motivated and get the best results, here's their advice:

  • Create distractions for aerobic workouts. VCRs, TVs, sports radios, tiny CD players -- they all exist for a reason. Distractions are fine, as long as you maintain a good walking or running intensity. Don't get lulled into a slow pace that won't do you much good.

  • Make your strength training workouts "meditative," Fichera adds. "It helps to visualize each muscle. If you can block out problems, get into the moment, get rid of the chatter in your mind, then it becomes more relaxing, more enjoyable."

  • Plan your fitness program for the afternoon for maximum benefit. "Your body's core temperature in the morning has yet to reach its peak level," he says. "When you go out at 7 a.m., your body's still cold, even if you did a warm-up, and especially if you're deconditioned."

  • Convince your company to hire a personal trainer for a few group lessons. "Have someone come in once a month, give you some really 'actionable' advice you can take away and do on your own," Florez says. "We do this a lot, and people love it."

  • Hire your own personal trainer, who can develop a very specific fitness program for you to follow. Plan on meeting with your trainer periodically to update your program.

"The good news is, once you make progress, the intensity and frequency will change. Because your body is stronger, you're able to do more things," says Fichera.

Originally published May 14, 2003.
Medically updated April 30, 2004.

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