Heart Health Exercise Tips: Staying motivated - Health Tips

In this Post we will be discussing tips on staying motivated. Its important to understand that its never too late to start being more active and exercise can add years to your life and life to your years. Research shows that people who choose to exercise when they find things that are convenient, enjoyable and safe will be more likely to stick to their program.

A good starting point is to set a specific and measurable goal. It might be a daily goal, a weekly goal, a short term or a long-term goal. But it needs to be something you think is achievable and measurable. For example you could decide to walk for 20 minutes everyday after breakfast. As you progress you can change the frequency, the intensity or the duration of the exercise each week.

Its important to have a variety of options to choose from. Weather conditions my prevent you from exercising outdoors, so it's good to have a variety of options that allow you to exercise indoors on those days when weather prevents you from being active. Some people like to monitor their progress and you can do that in a variety of ways.

You could simply use a hard copy log, similar to this one, which is in the cardiac rehab exercise booklet, which simply has you chart, the day, the activity, and the number of minutes you do and you total it up at the end of the week.

Our goal at the heart institute is to encourage you to do 200 to 400 minutes of exercise per week, which adds up to 30 to 60 minutes per day. So if you walked for 30 minutes every day you would have a total of 210 minutes per week. You can track the number of steps you take using a pedometer, just wear it for a day to see how many steps you would take normally and then your goal is to work toward doing 10,000 steps per day. 

You can also use a number of tracking tools that are available online, or you can use a phone application to track and monitor your progress. You could even use social media to get your friends and family involved in motivating your to stay active. It is important that you can believe that you can accomplish your goal, if you believe it you can achieve it. Its also important to know yourself well enough to know if you can do it on your own, or if you need the help of a group or you need to play a game, in order to keep you motivated.

Exercise videos can help to motivate people as well. It is also important to know the barriers that might prevent you from being active and try to find ways around those barriers, so in the next post we will be addressing some common barriers and how to work around those.

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