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How to Revitalize Your Workout

"Workouts Don't Work for Me" —Jennifer, 27, corporate training coordinator continued...

Her "Aha" Moments
An empty gym is a wonderful thing.
"When I met Johanna in the gym, I realized I could either go in there and feel self-conscious that everyone has a better body, or with the idea that one day I will achieve that. The meeting went fine, but I still don't like the gym — I feel like people are staring at me. So I worked out in the gym in my building at night when there were fewer people. I also did a workout DVD or the strength moves Johanna gave me right in my apartment."

The note on the door can stop you. "In addition to working out, my fiancé, Keith, and I tried to make lifestyle changes. We posted a list of rules, such as no eating fast food at
3 a.m., avoiding alcohol during the week, and grocery shopping instead of ordering takeout all the time. We even typed out a sign for the back of the door that says, 'Keith, I know you're drunk, but do not go to McDonald's!' We did go there one night, but I only had a few chicken nuggets. It wasn't horrible."

You don't have to be regimented. "I don't do well with a rigid, inflexible program because if I miss a day I get so discouraged and stressed that I want to give up. So I took each day as it came, adjusting where I did my workouts according to the day or what was going on that week. One week, we went to a bunch of parties, and I stumbled a bit with eating and drinking. But I'm OK with it. I never want to be 'that' person who can't have fun because I'm watching my weight. A little indulgence now and then will not kill me, and I didn't allow myself to get all worked up over it."

After: 1 to 3 times a week ("A huge increase from doing nothing!")
"After three weeks, my engagement ring fits comfortably again (it had gotten tight). I still don't like the gym, but I think I have a better outlook on health and fitness. Before, we'd sit around and watch TV; now we're more likely to do a workout video or go downstairs to the gym and do some cardio."

Trainer Johanna's Tips: Make Progress
Pare down. If you don't like the gym, do push-ups, squats, lunges, and other exercises that don't require hand weights. You can do these any time, anywhere.

Vary your routine. Your body gets used to doing the same thing very quickly. To get stronger and leaner, Jennifer varied her twice-a-week circuit program. One time, she would do 10 repetitions of an exercise with a slightly heavier weight to work on strength; the other time, she'd do 15 reps with a lighter weight to work on endurance. You can also switch the order of your exercises; hold a ball instead of a weight; do upper-body work on a balance board...anything-just change it up.

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