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Eight Ways to Focus on Fitness for long-term health

Most chronic diseases can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a healthy diet and working out regularly. Yet Australians have become increasingly obese and sedentary. “People just aren’t making the connection between unhealthy lifestyle choices and disease risk,” but telling people why exercising is good for them doesn’t motivate them; people don’t “think” themselves into being more active and working out.

So rather than focus on why people should exercise, we need to educate people on how to exercise; people would exercise more and lose weight if they knew how to fit working out into their busy schedules.

Here are other ways that you can motivate yourself to lose weight and exercise regularly:

  • Make specific goals. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” Better: “I want to lose 5 Kg in a year.” Your goal needs to have specific timeframes and be something where you can measure your progress.

  • Be realistic. Never expect to lose 5 Kg in two weeks or even three. Set realistic goals with effort and commitment, and ensure you have the resources available to achieve your goals. Don’t choose swimming as your exercise if you don’t have access to a pool; however, we are lucky on the sunshine coast to have great walking and bike tracks and numerous exercise facilities.

  • Set reminders. Post sticky notes or phone reminders where you will see them, reminding yourself of the benefits of exercise and sticking to your goals.

  • Schedule your workout. Put time for exercising on your calendar, like a doctor’s appointment or work. You can use your phone to set the alarm when it’s time to get moving.

  • Put it in writing. Keep a journal with your goals for the week, along with your results. After working out, write down what you did and for how long. When you look at the numbers and see progress, it will encourage you to keep going.

  • Consider the obstacles. Think about what might get in the way of going for a brisk walk or biking at least three times a week. Then come up with a plan to overcome these obstacles.

  • Get a partner. Finding a partner who can keep you accountable might be a good strategy if you tend to bail from exercise at the last minute.

  • Talk to a trainer. Your exercise routine must be made of activities you like. The more you like them, the more motivated you’ll be to do them. However, you may need a personal trainer to teach you how to properly do the chosen exercises and set up a routine you can easily live with.

Making lifestyle changes is similar to remodelling your house; it will go much better if you have a plan. Even making small increases in your physical activities will benefit your overall health.

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