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Setting Your Goals on Fitness

Charting Your Progress

Once you have decided on your overall fitness goal and your weekly workout plan, you need to log it, to make sure that you are sticking to the program. Your fitness chart should also include some reminders of where you started and how far you have come.

For example, if your goal is weight loss, jot down your weekly weight or measurements. If you're trying to improve your muscle tone, take some pictures or make notes to size up what is happening over the designated training period.

Don't be discouraged if you miss an intended workout or have a bad week. Instead, work harder the following week. And keep in mind that staying fit is a lifelong process that takes place in small, daily steps.

Tips for Forming an Exercise Habit

  • Mix functional exercise with traditional training: Use a walk to the mailbox, or outdoor activity with the kids as your workout on one day and then go back to your step or sculpt class on the next.
  • Find a friend to work out with; you will help keep each other motivated.
  • Keep fitness and healthy-eating articles, magazines and books around for down-time reading.
  • Plan your trip to the gym or jog route around other chores you have to do in the area, like grocery shopping or dropping the kids off at school or sports activities.
  • Keep a tight pair of jeans around to gage your ideal weight; put them on when you get the urge to skip a workout.
  • Have at least one option for exercise inside your home to use when the weather or your schedule does not permit you to get outside for a workout.
  • Try working out at different times of the day. Write down how you feel emotionally and physically before the activity, immediately after and several hours after. Compare your findings and decide what time during the day is your "on" time for exercise.
  • When you are stressed or depressed, walk around the block before you reach for other vices.
  • When you are in a real time crunch, try combining your housework with lively music and nonstop movement: shuffle, jog, squat and dance your way around the house as you pick up and put away. You will burn twice as many calories and clean up in half the time.
  • Put exercise at the top of your to-do list.
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