Dodging the Exercise Roller Coaster

Have you ridden the Exercise Vortex? It’s the most popular fitness roller coaster of all time.
You go up, you go down. Fast fitness climbs are interrupted by burnout and steep drops in activity--until you bottom out and start another cycle. And in the end, you’re right back where you started. Half the time, it just leaves you with a headache. If you don’t like what you see, you can always get on the latest and greatest fitness coaster. But you’ll still be taken for a ride.
You can stay off the coaster and get into consistency. All it takes is a little planning--and a lot of fun. The key is to build an exercise program that’s not stale, boring or disruptive. Now--while you still have momentum--is the perfect time to set up some smart, convenient systems and motivating reminders. Here are some smart strategies:

Combine Exercise With Other Goals
Most exercise programs fail because they work against instead of with your current goals. Instead of competing for time, perhaps your goals could share it.


  • Read while on the stationary bike
  • Play with kids
  • Hold a work meeting at the gym or while jogging or walking outside
  • Work out or play sports with friends
  • Do a home workout while watching a basketball game or movie you want to see.
    Take Exercise Out of The Gym
    Which is easier to reschedule, a two-hour meeting or a series of five-minute chats? Take advantage of all those chances throughout the day to stay on your feet and stay active.

        AT WORK
  • Find a few sturdy, thick phone books and do some step aerobics.
  • Close your door and shadow box for a few minutes.
  • Lift 1-3 packs of printer paper in each hand. Curl them like weights or lift them over your head.
  • Jumping jacks. Simple, quick, and pumps you up.
        AT HOME
  • Get out the rake and shovel.
  • Try some gardening.
  • Walk to your neighbor’s house to visit instead of calling.
  • If you must watch TV, do a quick exercise during commercials.
  • Sprint – don’t walk – to the mailbox.
  • Walk up and down the stairs while on the phone.

    Create an In-Home Workout
    Smaller workouts can take the pressure off of those more intense visits to the gym – and without all that expensive equipment. Just 20 minutes a day is all it takes, which just happens to be the same amount of drive time you’d probably save.