Strategies to Increase Activity 1

/ January 18th, 2011/ Posted in Health / Comments Off on Strategies to Increase Activity 1

How often have you heard people say, “To lose weight, just eat less and exercise more?” Of course, if it really were that simple, no one would be overweight. For many people, the challenge isn’t knowing what to do to lose, it’s knowing how to do it. The following strategies may help you increase your physical activity and ultimately may help you lose and keep it off.

Set Reasonable Goals
Many people often set unrealistic goals when they begin an exercise program. When they do not achieve their goals, they then set even more rigorous and unrealistic goals. This starts a vicious cycle. Soon, these individuals give up completely. Instead of setting unrealistically high goals, focus on setting a more realistic, short-term goal—one that you have control over.

Let’s say for example, that you have been inactive and now your motivation is high. You may want to begin immediately by setting a goal of exercising 45 minutes every day. Rather than setting such a high starting goal, begin with a more achievable goal. You may begin with two 15-minute walks each day this week, say one at noon and the other immediately after you get home from work.

If, on some days, you have the time to do more, that’s fine, but don’t set this as a goal. At the end of the week, compare your actual physical activity with the goals that you set at the beginning of the week. Suppose you achieved your exercise goal of two 10-minute walks each day at the end of the week. What do you think this success will do for your motivation? Achieving short-term goals can be a powerful motivational tool. Similarly, not achieving your goals can send your program into a tail spin.

Set Specific Goals
Instead of setting a general goal of increasing your physical activity, set a specific goal. A goal should be both time specific and be something that you have absolute control over. In other words, you will choose whether you accomplish the goal. An example would be planning six 8-minute walks this week and taking your walk at 6:00 o’clock each evening. Write each day’s goals on the Planner and Diary. At the end of the week, compare your goals with what you actually achieved.

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