How to Start Your Own Exercise Regimen and Stick to It

Two Methods:Try Sample Exercise GamesRunning Help

Do you want to get in shape, but never seem to stick to the resolution? Here are some ideas to provide the little nudge you need.


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    Make the time. It might seem like you don't have enough time in your day for exercise, but you probably do - you just have to make it a priority. Here are some ways to do it.
    • Set an appointment. Pick out the times when you want to exercise, and schedule ahead. Keep your appointment with yourself ironclad, and don't let other engagements interfere. If you keep a calendar on your phone or computer, set alarms that will remind you of your workout time.
    • Replace a habit. Most of us have some unnecessary and not particularly enjoyable habit, such as watching TV, that could be replaced by (or added on to) exercising. Ask yourself how much time you spend on this habit, and whether or not you could exercise at the same time. If the answer is yes, make a new rule that stipulates (for instance) that you can only watch television if you're exercising at the same time.
    • Use it as social time. If you have a standing appointment with a friend or family member to spend time together, see if he or she is willing to incorporate exercise into that time. Instead of doing step aerobics together, though, consider doing a more social activity, like playing a game such as tennis or dancing.
    • Routine is the key. After about 2 weeks of the routine, you will find it a lot less of a chore.
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    Find an activity you enjoy. If you like exercising, you're more likely to stick with it. Not all workouts are at a gym: try biking, inline skating, rowing, skateboarding, swimming, hockey, or a rugby team; you could even dance in your bedroom with an iPod. Enjoyment is the key to sticking with it.
    • If you get bored while you exercise, try participating in a more social activity such as a team or intramural sport.
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    Stay accountable. Keep track of when you exercise and for how long. Make notes in your calendar, or keep an exercise journal. Writing down what you actually do will keep you accountable and show you how hard you're actually working. Additionally, looking back and seeing how much you've done can create an inspiring sense of accomplishment.
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    Start with reasonable goals. Don't set out to start a rigorous regimen right from the beginning. Instead, start exercising at a reasonable pace and increase as soon as you stop feeling challenged. Try 30 minutes, three times a week and see how you feel.
    • Avoid burnout. Working yourself too hard at first can lead to muscle strain and fatigue, and associating exercise with pain can make you more reluctant to work out next time.
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    Track your measurements. Instead of keeping track of your exercise success by how much weight you lose, try keeping a soft tape measure handy and measuring your waist and hip size. You might build muscle and gain weight, but you'll lose inches.
    • Write down your measurements. As you start to trim up, seeing your progress can increase your confidence.
    • Measure your neck, arms and ankles as well.
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    Learn. If you are shooting to lose weight, you must learn to eat healthily. Don't "fall into" a diet. You would "fall out" eventually. Things like weight watchers can help you learn, but I simply recommend developing a lifestyle you will want to keep, and using your common sense. See tips for more help.
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    Drink water! Drinking water is absolutely the best thing you can do for your body. Always bring water to your workout sessions. Remember not to drink excessive amounts of plain water after strenuous workouts - your body loses salts through sweat, and too much plain water can help to flush out whatever is left. Sports drinks can be helpful for intense workouts, but consider the sugar content if your goal is to lose weight.
    • Drink enough water to replace what is lost. Amount will vary based on your body weight, climate, effort level, etc. Dehydration would slow your weight-loss goals, increase danger of muscle tears, and could make you feel nauseated. Avoid coffee and soda drinks, for better results.
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    Stay motivated. As you keep working out and building up your strength, your workouts will probably become easier. Don't allow yourself to get complacent, though - as soon as your current regimen feels easy, change it up and try something different.

Try Sample Exercise Games

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    Get creative. You don't have to work out in a gym to get fit. Try creating your own exercise games based on your favorite television show.
    • Make a list of things that happen often in episodes of your favorite show(s), and pair each item on the list with an exercise.
    • Pause the show whenever something on your list happens, and do the corresponding exercise. You can start watching again when you finish your set. Check out examples below.

The Bachelor Exercise Game

Survivor Exercise Game

Downton Abbey Exercise Game

Jeopardy! Exercise Game

Doctor Who Exercise Game

The Apprentice Exercise Game


  • Go early to bed, and have plenty of rest on days you exercise. Muscles grow and repair themselves during the -deep- sleep.
  • Don't worry if you're not seeing quick results. It normally takes about 8 weeks for results to really kick in visually. Remember, you can't do it all in one sitting. Regular effort, with enthusiasm, is the key!
  • Believe in yourself.Never give up!
  • If you're not used to exercising, it will be hard for the first week or so, to keep yourself from using an elevator. Keep walking and, soon you'll find that you can easily climb those flights of stairs without getting out of breath. Plus, in train stations and the subway, walking has the added benefit --you avoid the crowds-- as no-one takes the stairs!
  • Play up-beat music to keep the pace and motivate yourself.
  • Your health is your most valuable asset. Politely refuse offers to drive you short distances with a car when you could walk instead.
  • Don't have enough time for a good workout? Take a walk during your lunch break, do crunches and jumping jacks while watching TV, or pace while talking on the phone... In other words, take every opportunity to exercise.
  • Burn more calories playing than what you get from foods. Counting may help at first, but with regular exercises and 5-6 scheduled meals you will easily stay on track. Regular and moderate meals will keep the "fire" burning!
  • Try NOT to exercise in the evening. If you exercise before going to bed, your metabolism is increased, endorphins are released and it will make it much more difficult to fall asleep naturally. If the only time you can exercise is in the evening, try to do it as early as possible before going to bed to allow your body to rest.
  • Consider alternative forms of exercise. Biking, indoor climbing, Yoga, Thai-chi, martial arts, etc., will all challenge your muscles in different ways, and provide some fun and variety.
  • Every day, make note of all the benefits you can perceive: increased energy, pride and so forth. Make it as long as you can and keep looking for new items.
  • You don't necessarily have to pay a trainer to work out with you every week. Gym membership can be helpful because a monetary commitment is likely to motivate you to stick with the regular program. If your gym has group fitness classes, they can help you mix things up a bit.
  • Get yourself active and move around.
  • Look in to Paleo. It cuts out processed carbs/food (cancer causing) and what you eat is 70-80% of your health. Bloating will be gone and you will feel more comfortable in your clothes. When you feel better, you are more likely to exercise to keep the cycle going.
  • Don't workout everyday. Set two days during the week when you'll stretch or walk, but won't do anything else for that day. Your body needs time to rebuild that muscle stronger and take a break. Especially the High Intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT) should only be done for twenty minutes twice a week, with days off, and avoid high fructose drinks for a couple of hours afterwards for best effect.
  • You should take care of your life- after all, its the only one you will get so look after yourself and eat right so you can make the most of life.


  • If you feel faint, dizzy, sick, or in pain while working out, take a break. If you start getting better soon, then just start once you feel better. If there is a serious pain or you're crying, you think something is broken, or it won't go away, stop and wait a few hours. If it's still not gone, call a doctor! (This originally said to wait a few days before contacting a doctor. If you are in pain that does not lessen for more than an hour, you should contact someone. If you are in severe pain, contact someone immediately as it could be a sign of something seriously wrong.)
  • Consult your doctor if you are severely underweight, overweight, obese, or suffer from asthma before starting working out as you could hurt yourself.
  • Consult your doctor before starting any new workout regimen, especially if you've had heart or lung related illness in the past.

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