Three key elements for sticking to an exercise program

By: Pamela Verhulst, ESS Adjunct Professor

  1. Set realistic goals

Many people starting a new exercise program set goals too high, leading to injury or illness. If goals are set too high and there is a setback, many do not return to their second workout. For example, if you are a novice, don’t plan on running a marathon in a month. Instead, focus on making small, incremental improvements.

  1. Be consistent

Consistency is key to sticking to your exercise program. If your schedule allows you to work out three days per week, stick to it. In order to stay consistent, review goal #1 and set realistic times so you do not fail at following through. Don’t try to overreach and work out every day if you know it’s not sustainable. Only set your workout days to a schedule you can stick to.

  1. Have fun!

Keep your workouts fun. If you hate to exercise, you will dread every moment of           it, leading to frustration and quitting. Movement is exercise; choose moving the way you want to and have fun doing it. Heart raising activities you find enjoyable will help you stick to your exercise plan; choosing a tough workout that you dread will not. A fun workout will keep you coming back!