Have Fun Getting Fit

Spring into fitness with these simple tips to start—and stick to—your exercise routine

Photo: Kristin Duvall/Getty Images

Stuck. Fed up. Bored stiff. For every way we express our mind-numbing exercise frustrations, there’s a totally simple way to break past it, says exercise physiologist Amy Dixon. Make gym time fun time with these energizing tips to bust out of your workout rut.

1. No Excuses
The most important part of getting fit is to stop making excuses not to, Dixon says. We all are crunched for time, sore, and just looking for an excuse to stay in our jammies.

But no excuse is good enough for you not to take care of your health. Start taking a “no-ifs,-ands,-or-buts-about-it” attitude toward fitness. 
2. Be Flexible
You don’t have to pack your workout into just one time slot. If you need to, break your workout into two or more smaller workout sessions spaced throughout the day. You’ll get great results and will still have time for the rest of your responsibilities.

3. Do Something
If you're like most women, when you don't have a full hour to devote to exercise, you opt out. For what? A few more sleepy minutes between the sheets.

But even if you can only work out for 20 minutes a day, that time will make a difference. Something is always better than nothing. 
4. Make it a Habit
Fitness isn't a luxury—it’s a necessity. By thinking of exercise as just one of many important health habits, working out will become just as automatic as brushing your teeth, says Dixon.

5. Get a Goal
When starting or even maintaining a workout, motivation is key. Jot down your goal and post it in a prominent place like your bathroom mirror.
Whether you want to lower your cholesterol or fit into your size 6 jeans without a struggle, chasing a goal is the best way to keep you moving toward fitness.
6. No Gear Needed
Don’t have the dough to dish out on a fancy gym membership? Luckily, plenty of recession-proof exercise routines don’t involve a gym, equipment, or cash.
These exercises have the added benefit of freeing up your schedule, since you won’t have to head off to the gym to get into a sweat. 
7. Be Consistent
Wonder why the last day you skipped at the gym magically turned into a month? Because when we don't consistently exercise, fitness falls completely off our radar.
To stay consistent, Dixon recommends creating a set schedule of exercising at least 3 days a week. That way, on those days, you can literally check off working out. After all, what’s more satisfying than checking off a to-do?
8. Assault Your Senses
You can't possibly get bored on the treadmill when you're watching trashy TV, chatting with your beaux on the phone, listening to your fave jam, or reading your favorite magazine.
One activity not enough? Combine forces for extra stimulation.

9. Start Slowly
If you start an exercise routine too fast, it’s easy to get discouraged—or end up with a dumbbell on your toe.
But if you start off exercising slowly, and then gradually add difficulty to your workout, you’ll feel challenged, not defeated. That's much more motivating. 

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