When Working Out Isnt Working For You

By Heather Moreno Published 08/15/2006 | Fitness

You know how you feel after a good workout vibrant, energetic, like you really accomplished something?  Another way of feeling good is in your wallet.  Really! 

A UCLA/RAND study found that obesity is actually more costly than
smoking.  Obesity was shown to increase a persons healthcare costs by 36% and medication costs by 77%, while smoking led to increases of 21% and 28% respectively. Given the great benefits of exercise, not to mention the potential downside of not being in shape, why isnt everyone doing it? The most common challenges boil down to this: waning motivation.

If you want to start exercising or simply get better results from your workout program, here are four main points to help demystify the motivation game:

  • Be realistic
  • Find accountability
  • Be flexible
  • Avoid the back-burner trap

Lets be Realistic: Hectic, stressful
schedules leave busy professionals little time or motivation to exercise.  So, give yourself a break set realistic
goals based on your fitness level, your current exercise program and how it all
fits into your lifestyle. 

If you focus only on a long-term goal, like losing 30 pounds, it usually takes a while before you feel successful doesnt it?  By breaking it down into short term goals that can be measured daily through heart rate and calories burned, you increase your chances of achieving success everyday, helping you stick to your program and reach your long term goals.

First of all, it is helpful if at the beginning of each week you set daily and measurable goals for the upcoming week.  For example, using an
accelerometer (a pager-sized device worn on your waistband that measures
calories burned) and heart rate monitor to track daily progress will measure the effectiveness of your program and help you monitor your results.

exercise support doesnt necessarily mean you have to hire a personal trainer. The Accounting Factor:  In our technology driven world,
exercise support doesnt necessarily mean you have to hire a personal trainer.  For the past five years, options such as telephone coaching and Internet support have gained popularity nationwide.  Surprisingly, over 20 years of research on telephone-based fitness coaching at Stanford University shows adherence rates of 75-90% for people who have been held accountable for their workouts and daily activity through telephone coaching. 

Remember when the word coaching made you think of professional sports?  Now, business professionals utilize coaching services to increase productivity and financial rewards in their work environment, to balance their business and personal lives, and to get physically fit. 

Hiring a personal fitness coach is one of the best things Ive done for myself... accountability really makes a difference in my motivation and improves my

Casey Truffo, President


People Fit USA client

Versatility is Key: The more flexible
your training schedule is the more likely it will fit into your lifestyle.  If your fitness program has too many restrictions such as time, place or person (personal trainer or workout partner), it is more likely that you will be disrupted by your schedule (or theirs), making it much easier to abandon your training sessions.  When you can work out anytime and anywhere using as much or as little equipment as you choose, you have more control over your results, improving your chances for making your fitness program a lifestyle and for long-term ability to flow youre your lifes daily

Avoiding the Trap:  When your schedule becomes overloaded, you
may be tempted to put your fitness program on the back burner for a week or more.  Be careful.  A week can become two weeks,
then it becomes a month, then several months... we all know the drill.  More often than not, it becomes very difficult to regain momentum, making it near impossible to achieve results.

Pressed for time?  Adapt your program to accommodate your
temporary schedule change by reducing the length or the number of exercise
sessions.  When the disruption to your schedule passes, if you have not abandoned your exercise habit, you are moren likely to resume your program because you will have maintained your momentum.

The next time life gets hectic, and it will,
use these strategies to maintain your energy and keep you from falling out of
shape again.  If you focus on why you
want to exercise, whether its for better health and longevity, increased
energy, to reduce stress, to look and feel better in your clothes, or purely to
save money on your health care... maintaining your fitness focus will
motivate you thats the most essential secret of all.