Ship Shape

Let’s face it – getting in shape is hard, especially when life gives you so many reasons to put it off. Like so many people, you vowed to begin exercising with the dawning of the new year, but here you are several months later and have yet to do a single squat or plank.

If this sounds familiar, don’t worry! All is not lost. Below are several practical strategies for getting fit and staying that way:

1. Hire a Professional

If you lack the drive to stick with an exercise routine, you may need some help to remain on track in the form of a personal trainer. A personal trainer is a perfect option if you know you won’t persevere with a fitness regimen on your own, and because they offer customized exercise programs tailored to your specific needs.

Whether it’s weight loss you seek, or you hope to build a stronger, leaner physique, a personal trainer can steer you in the right direction to achieve your goals.

2. Schedule Your Workouts

Don’t leave finding time to work out to chance. Just as you’d schedule a doctor’s appointment or a haircut, pencil in time to hit the gym. Be sure to set reminders on your phone, so it’s hard to ignore. When you’ve allotted time to work out, you’ll be more likely to follow through.

Don’t overdo it, though. Try to get in 2-3 sessions a week so you’ll have leeway if you get busy.

3. Just Do Something

Everyone has days when we don’t feel like being active. When you hit this wall, make it a point to just do something – anything – that will keep you moving and in the right mindset. You don’t have to complete a full sweat session.  Even a simple 20-minute walk with the dog or a friend will help you stay on track.

4. Make Fitness Fun

OK, we get it. Pounding the treadmill for an hour isn’t the most inspirational activity on the planet. Like many people, you need some variety in your exercise routine to make it less of a chore and more inviting to help you get motivated.

Make working out fun by adding things you like to do; such as listening to your favorite music or watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead. When the monotony of running on the treadmill has you bored to tears, change things up. Take a yoga class or try out Zumba for something different and exciting.

5. Be Less Result-Oriented

It’s natural to want to see the fruits of their labor. However, if you find yourself obsessing over what the scales say, you’re far more likely to become discouraged and less likely to continue with your exercise regime.

When you’re getting started, focus more on how exercising makes you feel. Are you happier? Do you have more energy? Are you more productive? Exercising should be more than just a means to an end, so skip your daily weigh-ins at first, and focus on what exercising is doing for your mood and physical feel. The number on the scales will drop eventually.

Like many people, you have a desire to get fit and look and feel your best. Some of us need a little help. Getting in shape is hard, but hopefully the strategies we discussed above will give you the motivation you need to get started on and stick with a workout regimen.

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