Here are seven easy to follow tricks that will have a impact both short term and long term. Use the summer to implement them and be looking fabulous by fall.
- Get Real: Make a list of your workout goals and keep it in a place you see often, like a wallet, diary or appointment book. Do you want to exercise to reduce your stress level? Lose weight? Sleep better? Have more confidence? Be healthier? All of the above? Being clear about why you're doing it will make the sticking to it all the easier. Too many people are embarrassed about having goals, but every motivation speaker on the planet preaches this rule for success!
- Partner Up or Join a Program: You might blow yourself off, but you'll be unlikely to blow off a friend/group you've promised to go walking with. Book appointments to exercise, even if it's as low-key as taking a 30 minute walk at lunch once a week.
- Change It Up: Make a list of several activities you enjoy that could easily be done in 30 minute intervals. Walking, biking, puddle-jumping, running along the beach, rollerblading, dancing around the house to Lady Gaga, you name it. If it's interesting and varied, you'll stick to it.
- Optimize Down Time: Waiting in line, commuting, and even sitting are all opportunities to do ab and bun crunches—no one will even notice what you're up to.
- Transportation Trade Off: For every time you take a car, train or bus to run an errand, make yourself walk or ride your bike the next time. Or, find a ratio that works for you—even if it's one walk for every three or four times in a car, it's still worth it.
- Take The Long Road: Parking in the farthest spot from the store, getting off the subway a stop earlier and taking the stairs are all effortless ways to add hundreds of steps to your day. If you don't think those steps add up, enlist the aid of a pedometer.
- Remember The Three Magic Words: Every Bit Counts. Never throw in the towel thinking your commitment to a healthier lifestyle is a lost cause. Just pop your walking shoes in your work bag and start again the next day.