(CBS4) – So how’s that 2017 exercise program going? For a lot of us, it’s been a struggle and a half. But before you throw in the sweaty towel, here are a few tips that many regular exercisers use to keep going, especially when the going gets tough … and you don’t feel tough enough to keep going.
Partner Up. A spouse, significant other, or friend can help you through the bumps and boredom of going it alone. A little “cross-motivation” is shown to be a successful fitness and training technique. It’s great to have someone around when you hit that wall and just don’t feel like working out.
Go High Tech. You know, there is an app or device for everything these days, including monitoring schedules, routines, diet, calories, weight, distances, and a million and one other things. Personally, I use a couple of simple ones: “Map My Run” is a phone app that tracks my time, distances, maps my route, then stores everything nicely in a easy to follow training log. I also use a free program on my tablet that bends me through an easy yoga program that I can use in the privacy of my own home, where no one can see just how inflexible I am.
Go Low Tech. A simple calendar can go a long way in helping you keep a log of when you work out and what you’ve done. Plus, one nice trick is to look at your schedule and mark your calendar with the days you’re going to work out … and the days you aren’t. That way you don’t feel guilty about that “day off.”
Head Out: Find a place that has cool equipment. Sometimes the chance to hit the gym and try out/vary your pieces of equipment can help you enjoy exercise more, as well as fight off the boredom. One thought, before signing any deals, make sure you get a trial period to check the place out, especially during the times when you’re most likely to be there. Few things worse than a mob at the gym, and a “take a number” to get onto your favorite pieces of equipment.
Stay In: Who needs equipment? One of the best ways to work put is to chuck the equipment and use what nature gave you. Legs for walking or jogging. And the rest of your body to do what’s called “bodyweight” workouts. Those are exercises that include push-ups, wall-sits, planks, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and a bunch of variations that can get you as fit as anything that’s manufactured and costs money. No equipment, just the weight of your own body. Plus, there is the convenience. Sometimes, when I’m at work, I will just lean against the wall in my office to do some wall squats for quick quad work, or a few push-ups for upper body work.
Save It For The Weekend. Recent research shows if you are a so-called “weekend warrior” and pretty much don’t lift a finger during the week, your life expectancy is really, really close to someone who works out five days a week. The point: anything is better than nothing.
Hit The Water. Let’s say you have health problems and can’t do any of the above. In that case, think about the pool. Working out in water is great for strength, heart health, and flexibility. Plus, the buoyancy of water decreases the effects of gravity on your joints by more than 1,200 percent.
As always, I need to throw in the age-old advice: check with your doc before starting or markedly increasing an exercise program. But when you get the go-ahead, you can see there are a lot of ways to do it.