How to Create a Consistent Exercise Routine. You know the drill about how great exercise is for you, but perhaps you struggle with making it a priority in your life. Consistency is the key to making exercise a lifelong habit. Here are some tips on building workouts into your regular routine.
Get out early. Research shows that people who exercise first thing in the morning are most consistent. Nothing except your alarm clock gets in the way-not an urgent deadline, a traffic jam or a happy hour gathering. For extra tips, see Resources below for a link to my eHow: "How to Exercise Early in the Morning."
Be realistic. Set small, achievable goals at first. If you are new to exercise, plan to work out three times a week. Then move to every other day. As you progress you may build up to a 5-day (or more) weekly routine.
Have a specific plan before you start. You'll want to build in a variety of workouts to keep things fresh (for example, strength one day, cardio the next) but the trick is planning ahead. Every Sunday night, map out your week of workouts and stick with it like it's a doctor's prescription. Your plan can even be as simple as "Mon: Walk 30 min., Wed: Walk 30 min. plus 15 min. push-ups and sit-ups."
Find someone to keep you accountable. This can be a workout buddy or a personal trainer. Either way, pair up with someone who is inspiring and reliable. For extra tips, see Resources below for links to these eHow articles: "How to Find an Exercise Partner" and "How to Hire a Personal Trainer."
Set goals and keep track of your progress. Maybe your goal is to lose weight or run 5 miles. It could also be as simple as "exercise every other day for a month." Seeing progress will keep you motivated and consistent.
Find inspiration or distraction. If exercise goals don't engage you, pick a favorite diversion and build that into your exercise routine. Listen to music, watch TV or read a magazine while you exercise.
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