Thursday, January 2, 2014

Staying Motivated to Become a Fit After 50 Female

A few days ago I published an article on based on my experience losing weight and getting fit at age 60. It's called "Is This Your Year to Grab the Title "Fit After 50 Female"? It covers mental conditioning, nutrition/eating plans,strength conditioning and interval training.

Yesterday I picked up the current issue of Consumer Reports. As part of its review of exercise equipment and DVDs, it includes a sidebar - 5 ways to get motivated and get moving. It occurs to me that achieving the title of  Fit After 50 Female would require staying very motivated (because post-menopausal women do not lose weight or gain muscle mass easily).

So, here's my take on CS's 5 ways to get motivated:

"Make exercise a ritual."
This one could easily read "make exercise a habit on purpose." It takes 30 days to develop a habit which is why I recommend starting slowly by adding activities one at a time, a week or two at a time.

"Set mini goals."
Great idea that encourages success. A simple example - long-term (one year), I'm going to lose 50 pounds. Each week, I'm going to lose a pound. Losing a pound a week sounds a whole lot easier than losing 50 pounds in a year.

By the way, you can set goals based on these exercise components: posture, strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. Your goal setting is based on the results of testing in each of these areas. See Age Defying Fitness: Making the Most of Your Body for the Rest of Your Life for testing details and exercise programs.

"Track your progress."
You won't know how you're doing unless you find out where you are (weight, inches, blood pressure, sugar levels), where you want to go, and where you are at points in time. You can measure all these items easily. Progress is encouraging. If you do not progress, no problem (in the short term). Do it again. My journey was not continuous progress, but spikes and plateaus, and occasionally a few steps backward.

"Accentuate the Positive."
Positive self-talk helps people stay motivated. Remember the Special K slogan "What Will You Gain When You Lose?" Make a list of the benefits you gain when you lose weight and get fit. Refer to that list every time you start negative self-talk.

"Keep It Entertaining."
Playing music while you walk, lift weights, or use exercise equipment. Watch TV while you're on the treadmill. Exercise with a partner, as long as your partner stays positive (a constantly complaining partner is not motivating).

Please use these suggestions from CS to stay motivated to get your title "Fit After 50 Female."

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