Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tip #8: Measure Your Success

Keep a record on your refrigerator of your successes. Even if there is no immediate weight loss or loss of inches in the beginning, keep a record stating that you did it for one whole week - even just taking steps to keep your exercise routine going is quite an accomplishment in itself.

Whether or not you are seeing immediate results, being able to see a record of your accomplishments in keeping up with your workouts can be quite motivating, and will give you a sense of pride and remind you that you have the ability to make positive changes in your health and fitness.

And even if you're not seeing immediate changes in your size or weight, rest assured that you are improving your health in important ways every day. A 2006 study found a significantly lower risk of stroke among those who exercise – 20% lower in those who are moderately active and 27% lower in those who are highly active. (http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/benefits-of-exercise). Exercise can also help alleviate insomnia. A Northwestern University study found that regular exercise improves sleep quality and reduces daytime sleepiness. (http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20100917/exercise-helps-you-sleep). And let's not forget its impact on those around you. Research shows that children who have at least one parent who exercises regularly are less likely to be overweight than those who do not have a parent who exercises regularly (13.6% vs. 17%). (http://mchb.hrsa.gov/overweight/portrait/3family.htm)

Remember to take your measurements regularly and chart your success as you go. When you have an "off day" or you're not feeling motivated, being able to look back at how far you've come is a great inspiration!

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