Starting a new workout – and sticking to it – can be challenging. Lofty ambitions are notoriously hard to keep and the truth is, our determination peaks and wavers and means that many of us will inevitably fall off the wagon. According to the National Institute of Health, 50% of people who start exercise programs drop out within the first 6 months.* Keeping your exercise routine interesting and tailored to your fitness and interests offer the best chances for achieving fitness goals. Below are some tips to help you keep on track as you start a new program:
1. Choose an activity you enjoy
Starting a new cardio program with an activity you enjoy will give you the best chance of success. Pick from walking, cycling, running or jogging, swimming, aerobics, rowing, or dancing.
2. Set a routine
Depending on your activity level, start by exercising either 2x/week, 3x/week or 5x/week. Increase gradually as your skill level increases.
3. Setting pace and intensity
Initially, start your exercise by understanding what your body can tolerate. You may start with 15 or 30 minutes and slowly progress the length of time or intensity of your workout over the upcoming weeks.
4. Be consistent and get back to it if you do skip!
*Linke SE, Gallo LC, Norman GJ. Attrition and adherence rates of sustained vs. intermittent exercise interventions. Ann Behav Med. 2011;42(2):197-209. doi:10.1007/s12160-011-9279-8