Fitness

Organize Your Exercise

Getting fit just got a whole lot easier…

Isn't it funny that the moment you decide to exercise, something always gets in the way? Mom stops by. The kids need help with their homework. The dog eats your swimsuit. You want to get fit but something always pops up. Maybe it's time to organize your exercise…

Make life easy for yourself
Plan a regimen that fits in with your lifestyle. If you work irregular hours, for example, don't sign up for classes that start at the same time each week. Instead, choose activities that can be easily slotted into your day – walk the kids to school, for example, or do something fun in your lunch hour.

Draw up a weekly timetable
To help you organize your time properly, draw up a weekly timetable of planned exercises and activities. This will also help you see how much exercise you're getting. Try to do something for at least 20 minutes each day, even if it's just gardening or having a brisk walk into town.

Attach exercise to a treat
Give yourself a treat. Buy flowers every time you finish your weekly gym session. Or why not finish your 30 minute brisk stroll at your favourite juice bar? You can also attach exercise to an enjoyable event, such as a treasure hunt or a night out clubbing – that way, you'll really look forward to it.

Get everyone else on board
Make sure everyone else knows when and where you plan to exercise. This way you shouldn't get any unwelcome interruptions. Also, if you need someone to watch the kids while you exercise, make sure you arrange this well in advance – don't rely on last minute favours.

Anticipate motivational dips
Everyone struggles with motivation from time to time. Anticipating these feelings can go a long way to combating them. For instance, if you sometimes struggle to go to your aerobics class, get a friend to call you to check you're not still sitting on the sofa!

Avoid danger zones
Many things can distract even the most hardened of exercisers: your favourite TV show, the lure of a night on the town, or a friend popping in for an impromptu chat. Learn to recognize your particular 'danger zones' and take steps to negotiate your way round them.

Buy nice exercise clothes
You don't want to look like a sack of potatoes when you're exercising. Splash out on well-designed, flattering and supportive gym clothes - so you'll love them so much you won't want to take them off!

Have a specially designated drawer
When you're in hurry, the last thing you want is to be hunting around for your gym socks. Keep all your exercise clothes in a special drawer so you can find them quickly. And don't lend anyone your gear. This might sound mean but you don&39t want your workout clothes to go AWOL.

Leave your gym bag by the door
Always leave your gym bag by the door. This serves two purposes: one, so you always know where it is; and two, it serves as a gentle reminder that an exercise session might be due.

Put your gym clothes straight in the wash
And last but not least, when you get back from the gym or pool, put your dirty clothes straight in the washer. Nothing is guaranteed to put you off exercising more than having to rummage around in the laundry basket for a semi-clean pair of gym socks!