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Top 12 Tips to Meet Your Exercise Goals


Yep, it’s that time of year. We’re done eating and drinking with abandon over the holidays and we want to get on the straight and narrow with eating and exercise.

We’re motivated and have great intentions right about now. The problem is sticking with it..

Use these top 12 tips to keep you on track throughout the year.

1. Do it for yourself. Those who are "internally motivated" - meaning they exercise for themselves, not an event (reunion, vacation) or someone else - are the ones who stay in it for the long run.

2. Start small. For example, if your goal is to run, start with a quarter mile. As you build confidence and endurance you can make it more challenging.

3. Practice makes perfect. Workouts take practice. And habits take time to develop. Keep at it to make it a lifestyle, not a phase.

4. Mix it up. Do different types of workouts to keep things interesting and to exercise different muscle groups.

5. Set reasonable goals. You may wish you could work out every day of the week. You may want to lose 40 pounds by that spring break trip. But consider what’s reasonable and realistic.

Set yourself up for success, not failure.

6. Bring a friend. It’s easier to stay accountable when someone is depending on you.

7. Break it up. If you don’t have time to meet recommended the minimum 150 minutes of exercise a week (30 minutes a day, five times a week, for example) – break it into smaller chunks. Ten to 15 minutes at a time works, too.

8. No guilt. Just because you miss a workout or two, or overindulge with food, is no reason to throw in the towel. You have a chance to get back into your routine today.

10. Track it. Keep a fitness journal or use an app to see your progress -- for example, how much you run, walk, or lift and the calories you burn.

11. Make a plan. Each Sunday (or whatever day works best for you), look at your calendar for the week. Plan out when you will get your workouts in. And show up at your scheduled time. Don't leave it to chance.

12. Hire a personal trainer. Many of my clients say to me they would have never exercised that day if it weren’t for their appointment.

Good luck and let me know if I can help!


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Karen Marcouiller

Personal Trainer and Health Coach

National Sports and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

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