In my last column, I had this crazy idea that resolutions weren’t what we need to make if we really wish to improve our health and fitness. For more motivation, I previously suggested (see: ‘Miss Fit Says, “Don’t Make Resolutions”’) making a date instead—a goal that will help you achieve your resolutions.
Now, I’m taking my plea a step further. To ask you to make multiple dates. By this I mean appointments to exercise. Put fitness on your schedule so it doesn’t fall by the wayside when you get busy or distracted. Because you know it’ll happen. I see it by mid-February at the gym. We’ve lost the newbies, those who made resolutions, and we’re back to the diehards who’ve got fitness on their calendars.
You can do it alone, by simply writing it in—in pen—and not backing out of your appointment (I guess you can’t use pen on your pda, but whatever). Better yet, make a date with a friend to meet at the gym. You’ll keep each other honest. Try to leave most of the gabbing ‘til after the workout when you go out for coffee (with skim milk, please, no frappucinos or lattes).
Creating a walking group with friends is another great way to keep fitness on your schedule. You get to chat while you’re doing it and keep in touch with your friends. Try to pick those who will motivate you to push and keep your cardio up rather than the strollers who’ll hold you back. And if you’re the most fitness-motivated in your group, inviting others to join you on your walks is a great way to help them get healthier. After all, we want to have our friends around for the rest of our lives.
Another important appointment to make is with a fitness professional. If you just joined a gym, they’ve probably offered you an orientation session with a personal trainer. Take them up on it—you need to know what you’re doing. They’ll help you set up an initial routine.
But remember, there is a problem with a routine—it gets easier for your body over time, which means you need to progress it to keep up your fitness gains. So make another appointment with the trainer whose philosophy and style fits best with yours. Sure, it costs money, but your health and fitness is more than worth it.
Figure out how much you can afford—it may be one session per week, one every two weeks or once a month (if you do a session per month at $60, that’s just $15 per week—cutting out some lattes should take care of that!). The appointment with the trainer will motivate you to get to the gym on that day and other days, since you’ve made an investment in yourself. And the trainer will make sure your workout is challenging, safe and anything but routine.