Consistency is a key component to any exercise plan. Keeping up a running or walking routine does not have to be a constant struggle. Follow these tips for integrating running and walking into your lifestyle.
1. Get out early. Research shows that people who exercise first thing in the morning are most consistent. Nothing except your alarm clock gets in the way-not an urgent deadline, a traffic jam or a happy hour gathering.
2. Be realistic. Set small, achievable goals at first. If you are new to exercise, plan to work out three times a week. Then move to every other day. As you progress you may build up to a 5-day (or more) weekly routine.
3. Have a specific plan before you start. You'll want to build in a variety of workouts to keep things fresh but the trick is planning ahead. Every Sunday night, map out your week of workouts and stick with it like it's a doctor's prescription.
4. Find someone to keep you accountable. This can be a workout buddy or a training group. Either way, pair up with someone who is inspiring and reliable.
5. Set goals and keep track of your progress. Maybe your goal is to lose weight or walk 3 miles or get faster. Setting goals and taking small manageable steps towards that goal drives success. Seeing progress will keep you motivated and consistent.
6. Find inspiration or distraction. If exercise goals don't engage you, pick a favorite diversion and build that into your exercise routine. Listen to music, watch TV or read a magazine while you exercise.
Remember that being consistent with exercise is important to staying injury free. If you jump on and off the fitness bandwagon, you are not giving your body the time to adapt to exercise. This “on-again”, “off-again” routine can lead to injury so BE CONSISTENT – make regular exercise a part of your everyday life! (adapted from ehow.com)