4 ways to make fitness a priority

Are you hoping to get into better shape? These four tips will help you spring into action and stick to your fitness goals.

4 ways to make fitness a priority

1. Make your fitness goals known

Tell your family, friends and co-workers about your fitness goals and encourage them to ask you how you're doing with meeting them. Knowing that everyone is watching you provides great motivation to stick to your goals, says Lindsay Wombold, Healthy Horizons program assistant at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

2. Hire a personal trainer for one hour

In addition to the workout you'll get, ask the trainer to set your fitness goals for the year. A study from researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, found that if you're new to exercising, you'll do better if you have a fitness professional determine your goals rather than going it alone. That means setting the weights on machines for you, determining how long you should walk or run, and giving you a time limit for the treadmill, StairMaster or elliptical trainer.

The reason for the improved results? It's the self-confidence you get when an expert believes in you and thinks you can reach a certain goal. You only need to hire the trainer for an hour to get your goals established. Of course, if you want to continue working with him or her, that's a good thing too!

3. Do it for charity

Some of us get greater satisfaction helping others than helping ourselves. If you fall into that category, find a way to use your charitable nature to motivate you to exercise.

For example, donate $1 to a favorite charity for every kilometre/mile you walk. Donate $10 for every kilogram/pound you lose. Or commit to several fundraising events per year that involve walking, biking, dancing or a sports match.

4. Fly to your next race

Sign up for a walkathon or race that requires an airline flight to get there. Book your flight at the same time that you sign up for the race, even if it's six months away. The motivation to train for the race (which will cost you in terms of a lost reservation if you chicken out) will keep you more motivated than any personal coach can.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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