The benefits of exercise come not from occasional no-pain, no-gain workouts but from consistent daily effort. That requires motivation, which is sometimes hard to come by. If you're having trouble staying motivated, try these steps:
- Schedule your workout each day. Make an appointment with yourself, write it in your date book in pen, and treat it as seriously as you would a doctor's appointment.
- Record your progress. Keep a log of how many minutes you exercise each day. You'll be pleasantly surprised to see how quickly the time adds up.
- Start a streak. If you've exercised for 10 days straight, it's a lot easier to motivate yourself to walk again on the 11th day.
- Mix it up. Avoid boredom by doing a variety of activities and exercise.
- Make it a part of your social life. Instead of meeting a friend in a pastry shop, meet for a brisk walk.
- Reward yourself. Set a goal and buy yourself a bouquet of flowers when you reach it.
- Keep it fun. If you think of exercise as drudgery, you're unlikely to stay with it. Pick activities that are fun, and you'll enjoy exercise more.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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