Let's face it: it's not all that difficult to start a fitness routine. After all, most of us have done it more than once.
The trouble, of course, comes with sticking with it. All too often, our initial enthusiasm and energy wanes, we get distracted by other things going on in our lives, or we don't think we're seeing results quickly enough -- and we throw in the towel.
By Jenny Allen
The domestic diva opens up about the pain in her past, the love in her
life, and how she bounced back big time.
Martha Stewart takes a forkful of lemon pie and savors it. "Isn't this
good?" she asks in that trademark low, plummy voice.
We're lunching in her office at the Manhattan TV studio where she's just
finished hosting a live broadcast of The Martha Stewart Show, her Emmy
award-winning daily program. She sits at one end of the sleek rectangular table
Yet many people do manage to hang in there, and would no sooner skip their regular workout than their morning shower. What's their secret?
A recent study by researcher Diane Klein, PhD, shed some light on the subject. Long-term exercisers (who had been working out for an average of 13 years) were asked to rank what motivated them to keep up with their regimes.
Their answers might surprise you. The exercisers were not as concerned with powerful pecs and awesome abs as they were with feeling good and being healthy.
Here's how the study participants ranked their motivators:
So, once you have your priorities in the right place, how can you become one of the fitness faithful?
WebMD has compiled 10 tips for making fitness a habit in your life. To create the list, we sought the help of Klein, along with long-term fitness buff Roy Stevens and his wife, Wanda, who is transforming her hit-and-miss exercise schedule into an almost-daily habit.
1. Do a variety of activities you enjoy. And remember, there's no rule that says you have to go to a gym or buy equipment.
"We've shifted our perceptions from regimented exercise to physical activity," says Klein, assistant professor of exercise, sports and leisure studies, and director of gerontology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Having a variety of activities -- weight lifting, walking, running, tennis, cycling, aerobics classes -- will ensure that you can do something regardless of the weather or time of day.
2. Commit to another person. "The social aspect of exercise is important for me," says Wanda Stevens, a stay-at-home mom in Austin, Texas. "I'll let myself off, but if I've agreed to walk with a friend after dinner, I won't let them down."