Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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7 Keys to Make Exercise a Habit
by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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So, you’ve decided to start making exercise an important part of your life.  First of all, good for you! It feels great to make your health a priority, doesn’t it?  But it’s not always easy to start an exercise program, especially if you haven’t been active in a while.  Or maybe you’ve simply gotten off track with exercising during the busy summer months filled with vacations and visits with friends.  Getting back on track with exercise is the same as with food – it can be challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’re hooked on that healthy livin’ feelin’!

  1. Set a goal.  But, most importantly, only set one goal.  A lot of people try to do too much all at once, whether it’s losing weight or running a marathon, and all those goals can start to get mixed up in each other.  Pick one goal, and stick to it.  Make it measurable, whether it’s in miles run or pounds lost, set a deadline, and post it somewhere you can see it.  When you’ve accomplished the goal, celebrate, set another goal, and repeat the process.
  2. Stay positive. Miss a workout?  It’s certainly not the end of the world – life gets in the way for all of us sometimes.  Try not to be too hard on yourself. Push the negative talk out of your mind, and get back on track the next day.  Remember that you are doing a wonderful thing for your health by getting active, and focus on that when you want to throw in the towel.
  3. Plan, plan, plan.  Just as you would plan your meals for a healthy diet, it’s best to plan out your exercise.  You can record your past and upcoming workouts in an exercise journal, or simply make it a priority to lay out all of your workout gear the night before.  Log your workouts in your daytimer, add them to your phone, write them in your email calendar.  Make it hard for you to skip an exercise “appointment”.
  4. Keep it simple.  Just like there’s no cookie-cutter diet that works for everyone, there’s no workout or exercise routine that you must do.  Do what works for you!  If you like swimming, find a community pool where you can swim laps.  If you like dancing, sign up for a class with a friend.  You don’t have to jump on every fitness bandwagon out there and try everything new all in one week.
  5. Find your support team.  We all need a little support now and then, no matter what we’re doing.  Having a few friends or family members on your side as you strive to improve your health is always a good idea, whether they help you stay motivated or simply offer an encouraging smile.  Book exercise appointments with friends so that you’ve got an exercise buddy to work out with!
  6. Add in motivation.  I’m a big fan of updating my music playlists for my workouts, and I always find there’s that one song that gives me an extra push through the last leg of those tough runs.  Or, if music isn’t your motivation of choice, search for an inspirational quote and make it your exercise mantra – quotes from athletes are always great for this!
  7. Believe in yourself!  Our bodies are designed to move, our hearts are designed to pump, and our lungs are designed to breathe.  Your body can do this, you just need to believe in yourself!

Next Monday Mitzi Dulan’s Adventure Boot Camp for Women starts! It will be 1 hour a day of exercises for 4 weeks + nutritional guidance from me! Check out the details!

Assistance provided by Megan Skinner

One thought on “7 Keys to Make Exercise a Habit

  1. Fantastic advice. The combination of running and swimming is really good provided your joints can handle the running. You will firm up in not time and sleep like a baby. Great article 🙂

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