Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Exercise Adherence

This what the bottom of my desk looks like most days. My bag, my walking shoes, my gym clothes. Before embarking in this health journey, it was much different, there were no tennis shoes or gym clothes. How did I attain my exercise adherence?
1. I have a Plan. I write down when I'm going to exercise and at what time. I also write down when I'm going to take a break. I write it on my planner so I know what meetings I have for the day as well as kind of exercise.
2. I have Competition. In the beginning of my journey I was in a class that gave me $1 fit dollar if you burned 100 calories more than the week before. I love competition, so I found ways to meet that goal. I usually took a longer way in my usual walking path or I just made sure I stayed in the gym a little longer. Whatever takes to make you to exercise works!
3. I have a Goal. People measure their goal to exercise in miles, hours or calories burned. Knowing what your goal is brings adherence and endurance. I have a friend who is training to run cross-country, so her goal is to run 5 hours each week.
4. I have a Challenge. Some people prep for a 5K or a marathon, that's what keeps them going. My current challenge is the Body Blasters class. It's a challenging body toning class. I have talked and dreamed about running a 5K. I have plans on doing that this year with God's help. A challenge will definitely bring adherence.
5. I Make it Fun. I'm not the gym goer who's ever happy so I have to make exercise fun. Long were the days where all I could afford was to walk. Now that I have a gym membership, I tried most classes they offer, even if all I can say about it is, I don't like it. I use the pool. I lift weights, I make sure I have fun because otherwise I'll stop the whole thing. There's always a sport or activity to be discovered out there. Tired of walking? What about jogging? What about taking a Zumba class?
6. I know when to Push & when to Stop. I know when to push myself and when to rest. I learned to forgive myself if I just can't exercise. This is not a religion, this is about doing something good for you body while having fun.
If I can wear tennis shoes to work I do. I get tired of sitting in front of my computer so I just go for a 15 minute walk. Burning 75 calories doesn't hurt, it actually relieves the stress and boredom.

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