Getting Back on Track

Jillian McAfee

With the spring season quickly approaching, people often want to get back into their exercise routine but aren’t sure where exactly to start. In this blog series, we’ll help you get back into your routine with some great information and tips!

Getting back into an exercise routine is challenging. If it weren’t challenging, everyone would be doing it! It takes more than purchasing a gym membership, buying new workout shoes, and packing your gym bag. The real challenge comes with the mental side of the game.

How in the world are you going to stay motivated?

Disclaimer: Before starting any exercise program, please consult with your healthcare provider.

Let’s start by focusing your efforts. Ask yourself a few questions and write down your answers. Here are some examples:

      • What inspires me?
      • Why do I want to experience the results of exercise?
      • What is my relationship with exercise?
      • Where am I currently at in relation to my goals?
      • Why is this important to me?

Truly thinking about WHY you are exercising can help! If your answer is “because my friends are doing it,” your motivation will most likely diminish sooner or later. Get down to the root of your motivation when you start thinking about goals and you will be more likely to accomplish them.

Make yourself a priority and schedule goals into a specific time-frame.
Why is it so easy to lose focus? There is no urgency to complete your goals if you know that you have an endless amount of time to accomplish them. Let me ask you this…If your boss tells you about a project that is due a year from now, will you start working on it right away? Most likely, your answer is no! If your answer is yes, you might start working on it, but a week or two down the road, another project will come up and the original project will get put on the back burner. Sadly, health gets put on the back burner for many Americans because we set lofty goals and give ourselves an endless amount of time to complete them. It is totally normal for your priorities to shift every now and then, but when this happens, go back to the questions and reevaluate your goals.

So what makes a good goal? The SMART model.
You may be wondering what makes a goal “good.” To answer your question, each of your goals should contain the following 5 components:

      • Specific
      • Measurable
      • Attainable
      • Realistic
      • Timely

Set realistic monthly or weekly goals that you know you are capable of accomplishing.

Some examples:

      • “I am going to establish a routine by taking 3 fitness classes a week during my first month at the gym.”
      • “I am going to lose 5 lbs this month by exercising 4 hours a week and increasing my fiber.”

My advice?
Create SMART goals and continue to make yourself a priority! You deserve it! Remember that reaching your goal does not translate into reaching the end of your weight-loss journey. Our goals evolve as we evolve!

Now that you have your goals, how can you stay on track?

Post 2…

To view the next blog post in this series, CLICK HERE.

About the Author
Jillian McAfee is a Personal Trainer and General Manager for Downsize Fitness in Illinois. Jillian also coaches individuals all across the country in an online program called Downsize@Home, powered through Helpouts by Google. She received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Indiana University and is a Certified Personal Trainer through The American College of Sports Medicine. She has played a large role in many individuals’ weight loss journeys and hopes to do so for many years to come.

Disclaimer: This blog post does not reflect the views of the OAC, the National Board of Directors or staff. Information contained in this blog post is not based on scientific research and has not been validated. The OAC does not endorse any merchandise or program mentioned in this blog post.

6 Comments for this Post
  • Jan
    April 14, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I read your comments and was thinking how do they apply to me? I’m motivated and I’ve increased my activity – 2-3 classes a week and a tennis lesson one day a week. My eating seems good to me but I’m not making the progress I’d like to make. I started exercising in February 5 days a week and then got sick and got out of my routine. Having a hard time getting back to 5 days. Actually enjoyed the workouts but now find myself making other priorities. I hope your blogs help me stay motivated. I think my food choices are my problem but I haven’t figured out good substitute choices yet. I’ll keep reading your posts. Thanks for taking the time to write your posts.

  • Jillian McAfee
    April 15, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks for reading Jan! It’s definitely challenging to get back into a routine after being sick, but 3-4 days of exercise/week is still a great commitment. Keep it up!

    You may be right about your food choices. One exercise session can’t undo damage that’s made in the kitchen. I recommend a lot of my clients to write down the food that they consume. It teaches you a lot about your habits and holds you accountable! Remember that this is a learning process.

    I hope that my next blog post helps you stay motivated! Let me know if you have any more questions.

  • Judy
    April 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I read your comments about getting back into exercise. I have bad knees and would like to loose some weight but don’t know if my knees can handle it. I have walked before and they really hurt afterward. Even the next day or two which discouraging to me. I don’t like having them hurt so much. Is there anything I can do to prevent them or maybe prepare my knees from not hurt so much after I have done some walking? Please email me.
    Thanks for your time.

    • Jillian McAfee
      April 23, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Hi Judy,

      I would definitely recommend starting slowly with walking! Too much too soon can cause stress on the tissue. Start with shorter bouts of walking and listen to your body. If your knees continue to hurt for more than a couple of days after walking, you may want to get them checked out by a Doctor. I would also recommend going to a “running store” to get a gait analysis done to ensure you are wearing the proper footwear. This analysis is usually free!

      Keep in mind that there a numerous other ways to exercise that don’t involve walking! You could ride a recumbent bike or seated elliptical, take water aerobics classes, practice beginners yoga, or do seated strength training exercises.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions!

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