7 Tips for Exercise Success

There are some people who just live to exercise. Others of us, not so much. If you fall into the latter camp but really want more steady activity in your life, there are a few things to keep in mind before starting your new regimen. We spoke with Jenny Christensen, exercise physiologist and manager of our south Boulder store, about her top tips for getting your brain in the exercise game.

  • Set your goals. That means asking yourself a few simple questions:
    1. Is it specific?
    2. Is it realistic?
    3. Does it depend on external influences?
    4. Is it motivating?
    5. Is it measurable?
    6. Does it include rewards?
  • Know your limits. If you’ve never run before, keep in mind that you’re a beginner and go slow. If it’s been awhile since you lifted weights or you have an injury, be sure to ease into your workouts. Self-efficacy and believing you can succeed go hand in hand with reasonable expectations.
  • Find a support system, even if it means looking around for one. It may be that the best support system is your neighbor or a friend at work; you’ll need their kind words and someone to celebrate your victories with.
  • Be mindful of potential challenges and plan for them. For instance, if your day gets busy, a workout in the evening is more likely to fall by the wayside. If you don’t like traditional workouts, look for alternative ways to get moving—like a dance class, hiking or kickboxing. Be honest about why you don’t exercise or have ditched a routine in the past, and set something in place to help you through those barriers.
  • Think in shades of gray. Missing a spin class doesn’t mean that you can’t go for a walk later or do some crunches at home. Have a backup list of ways to work out, and don’t get too down when you have to switch it up.
  • Track your progress. Like it or not, studies have shown that tracking helps keep you well, on track, when it comes to exercise. So whether it’s keeping a detailed log or just putting a checkmark on the calendar every day you work out, it can help keep you motivated.
  • Think about why you want to start and stick to an exercise plan. Is it to feel more confident? Be healthier? Keep up with the grandkids? Align your rewards accordingly. If it’s to feel better about how you look, buy a pair of jeans that are just one size too small and rock ‘em with pride when they fit. If it’s to keep up with the grandkids, plan an outing in the future that’s fun for everyone but that also requires you to be active; make it your goal to keep up. No matter what, those rewards can be vital to keeping up your exercise inspiration.