Fit Fun

By Cecilia Ruane

If the thought of warming up and working out leaves you cold, you’re not alone. When it comes to exercise, it’s hard to get and stay motivated. So we gathered the best information on how to perk up your workout routine.

Don’t grab your gear and go just yet; do a little planning. First, set goals that are challenging but attainable. Understand the process of getting fit, so you don’t get discouraged and quit! Remember, you didn’t gain 50 pounds in three weeks, and you’re not going to take them off in three weeks either. Next, pick a specific time to exercise each day and stick to it. No matter when—morning or evening—you schedule your workout, treat it seriously. Finally, make sure you have a plan of attack, so your time at the gym is well spent.

Personal trainers aren’t only for the rich and famous. Signing up for a session or two with someone who will give you a new fitness plan can prove invaluable if you’ve been slacking off for too long. In fact, a trainer can help jump-start your workouts by assessing your level, teaching you proper training techniques, and showing you how your fitness should proceed. If paying for even half the cost of a training session seems like too much of a splurge, you can still join forces with a friend—it may be enough to keep you both on track.

If exercising as part of a pair doesn’t boost your stick-to-itiveness, check out your gym’s schedule of classes, which can incorporate cardio or weight training into such activities as dancing, boxing or martial arts. In a class setting, you feed off the energy of others. You can also find group support through an exercise club. The Internet is a great resource for finding clubs in most cities, whether you want to run, swim, or walk. Most clubs will offer a training program for your fitness level and keep you committed and on schedule.

Of course you needn’t coop yourself up in a gym to get a full-body workout. Hit the trails with five-pound dumbbells and do strength exercises while you hike. If you’d rather gaze at the mountains, than climb them, you might like yoga. Not only does yoga allow you to chill for an hour, but it also makes the body look leaner, lighter and more toned.

Varying the kinds of exercises you do and the order in which you do them also keeps your workouts fresh, meaning you probably won’t be tempted to give up so easily. And in the end, isn’t that what turning flab into fab is all about?