Top 11 ways to Hold Yourself Accountable to Exercise
You have the right to remain out of shape. But, you should know that every workout you miss can and will be used against you to make your belly bigger and your muscles smaller and weaker, and sadly, your life shorter. Unfortunately, most Americans are exercising their right not to exercise.
A recent study by the National Center for Health Statistics found that only 19 percent of the population regularly engages in “high levels of physical activity.” (That’s defined as three intense 20-minute workouts per week.)
Another 63 percent — about the same percentage as that of Americans who are overweight — believe that exercising would make them healthier, leaner, and less stressed, but they don’t do it. At the root of this problem is motivation, or the lack thereof.
It’s the difference between wanting to exercise and actually doing it. That’s why the advice you’re about to read is priceless..We want our fitness camp and weight loss camp participants to succeed at camp and at home for the long term. Incorporate these tips if you are feeling less then inspired lately:
1. Sign up for a distant race or a fitness retreat or weight loss camp
That is, one that’s at least 500 miles away. The extra incentive of paying for airfare and a hotel room will add to your motivation to follow your training plan
2. Make a ‘friendly’ bet
Challenge your nemesis or maybe your best friend to a competition to see who can lose the most inches three weeks. Keep a journal and use a fitbit or other training devise to help you and buy a measuring tape to test both of you when the challenge is up.
3. Tie exercise to your health
Check your cholesterol. Then set a goal of lowering your LDL cholesterol by 20 points and increasing your HDL cholesterol by 5 points. You’ll decrease your risk of heart disease while providing yourself with a very important, concrete goal.
4. Switch your workout partners
Working out with a partner who will hold you accountable for showing up at the gym works well—for a while. But the more familiar you are with the partner, the easier it becomes to back out of workout plans. “Close friends and family members don’t always make the best training partners because they may allow you to slack off or cancel workouts. To keep this from happening, find a new, less forgiving workout partner every few months.
5. Think about fat
Your body is storing and burning fat simultaneously, but it’s always doing one faster than the other. Understanding that you’re getting either fatter or leaner at any one time will keep you body-conscious so you won’t overeat or under exercise!
6. Strike an agreement with your partner or kids
The rule: You get 1 hour to yourself every day, provided that you use it for exercise (and reciprocate the favor). “Since it’s for your health, it’s a contract they can’t refuse”, says Leah. And that will allow you to exercise guilt-free while acting as a role model for your children or spouse.”
7. Plan your workouts in advance
At the start of each month, schedule all of your workouts at once, and cross them off as they’re completed. For an average month, you might try for a total of 16 workouts. If any are left undone at the end of the month, tack them on to the following month. And make sure you have a contingency plan for bad weather and unscheduled meetings.
8. Schedule a body-composition test every 2 months
It’ll provide you with a clear end date for the simple goal of losing body fat or gaining muscle. “Tangible results are the best motivator,” says Tim Kuebler, C.S.C.S., a trainer in Kansas City, Missouri. Your gym probably offers the service for a small fee — just make sure the same trainer performs the test each time.
9. Don’t do what you hate
Whenever you start to dread your workout, do what appeals to you instead. If you loathe going to a gym, try working out at home. If you despise the treadmill, then jump rope, lift weights, or find a basketball court. Bottom line: If you’re sick of your routine, find a new one.
10. Start a streak
There’s nothing like a winning streak to attract fans to the ballpark. Do the same for your workout by trying to set a new record for consecutive workouts without a miss. “Every time your streak ends, strive to set a longer mark in your next attempt,” says Leah.
11. Make your goals attractive (and attainable)
To stay motivated, frame your goals so that they drive you to achieve them. For example, try not to set unrealistic goals, like losing 20 pounds in a week, so you won’t feel disappointed and quit when it doesn’t happen. Be real with yourself, set a fitness goal rather than a weight loss goal and the weight loss will come naturally as you become more fit.