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5 tips for a successful exercise program

Have you decided that it is time to lose a few extra pounds, or become better fit? Whether it’s for overall wellness, building strength, or if you just want to fit into last year’s pants, completing a successful exercise program can be attained when you set some guidelines.

Through chiropractic and personal training, we help many clients reach their exercise goals, lose weight , increase endurance and feel better. Here are 5 of our most popular tips that have helped our clients become successful with their exercise programs.

First, start planning

It was Dwight D. Eisenhower who said “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” Now we don’t expect you to take years to structure your strategy like Dwight did, but you will benefit from not only knowing what you want to do, but why you are doing it. Planning first helps you get your goals, objectives and timeline in place. Once you have those key items in order, implementing your plan and preparing for change will help you along the way.

A good general structure to follow is to think about your end result, then work your way to your starting point. It helps to understand what needs to happen first in order for you to take the next steps.

For example, let’s say you want to start a gym membership to lose weight. Maybe you want to weight train as well as incorporate cardio exercise. Before you get started, you may need to invest in a gym membership, shoes, and clothes. You’ll also need to be aware of your time-management, How will you incorporate your workout into your day? Is it better for you to work out in the morning, or after work? Is your body healthy enough to start a workout program? These items all need to be considered prior to starting your program if you want to achieve maximum results.

Second, set a (specific) goal

The second step is to really define your goal. This acts as your guide and gives you something to attain. Be careful to not fall into mind traps and become overwhelmed with your goal, instead break it down into smaller achievable results. For example, let’s say your goal is to lose 20 pounds in two months. You could  break it down into losing 1 or 2 pounds per week. This makes your goal more attainable and gives you some wiggle-room to make alterations to your strategy.

As a side note: be sure to consult with your personal trainer or a dietician before beginning any weight-loss diet. They will help you develop a plan to reach your desired goals.

Third, don’t forget reality

In addition to setting your goal, you’ll want to ensure it’s an attainable goal for you and your lifestyle. One of the best ways to determine your ability for success, is to find out where you are now. A good place to start is to make an appointment with your chiropractor and/or personal trainer. Let him or her know what your health goal is and they can give you advice on your current health state. This is especially helpful if your are new to exercise or have not exercised in a while. It can prevent unwanted injury that may lead to the exercise program getting derailed and not producing the results you desire.

For instance, let’s say you’ve always been more of a cyclist, but have found that you have plateaued and you’re just not seeing the results that you want. Starting up a heavy weight lifting program could be unrealistic and unsafe. Talking to a specialist will help you become prepared and ensure a higher success rate for your goal.

Fourth, enlist some friends

The support of others will not only motivate you to stay on track, but will also add some accountability for the commitment you’ve made to yourself. Peer support helps you conquer any obstacles that you may come across on your path to success. Support can be found in your coworkers, friends, or family. You can also get pre scheduled follow ups with a personal trainer in a clinic of from the comfort of your own home.

Finally, measure your progress

The key to helping you stay on target is to measure your progress. This lets you modify your strategy if necessary and celebrate the mini achievements on your path to success. Celebrating the little milestones is a way to mentally keep you pushing to your finish line. Having a planned strategy helps you stay on track with your overall intention.

Don’t forget to utilize your sources too. Your chiropractor and/or personal trainer can give you advice on body issues and techniques that you can use and will help you accomplish your goal. No matter what you want to achieve through exercise, ask for advice whenever you need it. Your chiropractor and/or personal trainer will be happy to help you.

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