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Exercising at home: how to hold yourself accountable

With so many of us still avoiding gym workouts and exercising at home (and often struggling to maintain a consistent routine), how can you hold yourself accountable?

What is accountability?

Is when one takes responsibility for their actions. This could be a tough one for people, who may have the best intentions of exercising and in the end really do not even try. Having the mindset that you will do some type of exercise and hold yourself accountable to follow through is key. Having your own personal accountability and goals helps build confidence and inner strength.

Why is accountability important, in terms of exercising?

This is where we take personal accountability of our actions. Developing accountability is particularly important for having an exercising routine. If we do not have a set plan set in place, we will veer off course. This is the time to write out exactly what you would like to accomplish. Remember to start off small with realistic goals and slowly build by adding another one once you have accomplished your first goal. What is your motivation? To lose weight, becoming more flexible, stronger, stress relief, etc. Once you have defined what it is you like to accomplish then set your daily goal. Then start writing out your schedule and what exercise you like to do on that day. How many times a week and for how long can you make time? Start off slow and build up your endurance.

Here are 8 tips for holding yourself accountable

1- What is your preferred workout routine? Do you like to get your heart pumping with an aerobics or Zumba class? Do you like to be more stationary and build a good heart rate like a spin class? OR do you like to take it slow but have some gentle movement like a Yoga Class or Pilates? Since we have been home maybe you have tried strength training, walking, jogging, yoga, etc. with the new normal of virtual classes on Zoom or YouTube? Do research and check-out different online suggestions on exercise routines for example Dr. Jordan Metzl and Karen Barrow shows you a step-by-step 9-minute workout routine that helps strengthen training. There is a visual print out as well that you can refer to and have that near your workout equipment.

2- Once you have chosen the type of exercise you like doing, set up a calendar of what days and times work best for you. Have a large calendar on the refrigerator so you can refer to it daily. Set reminders on your phone or laptop to remind you of the workout and if you had signed-up for a class. Paying for online classes is an incentive to take the class.

3- A great way to keep track of your heart rate, steps, stairs, etc. is with a Fitbit, Apple Watch, Smartphone, or some kind of tracker you can monitor your exercise routines. This is a wonderful way to see your steps, heart rate, etc.

4- Check in with friends and family and see if they will join you on a walk or an online class. They may want to get moving as well. An online class is great and would give a weekly incentive to exercise plus add some social connections to others. Working out with friends and family makes the time go faster and you might do more than just on your own.

5- Have your workout equipment set-up in a room you like to work out in. Seeing the props out is a good reminder to work out and get moving. Even if you just have 15 minutes to exercise at home it is better than nothing. Try using resistance bands, stability ball, strap, foam roller and a yoga mat.

6-When in doubt just get outdoors and take a walk. Walking for 15-30 minutes helps lower stress and gets the oxygen moving in the body. Getting fresh air in the lungs helps clear the mind and induces calmness in the body. Using headphones or having a walking buddy really makes the time fly!

7- Keep track of your exercises on the calendar to what you did on that day. This is a great way to look back at the end of the week and see what you have accomplished. This keeps you focused and on track with the goals you had set for yourself.

8- Once you have reviewed what you accomplished and what you may not have accomplished it is time for a small reward. Try not to be disfigured if you did not fulfill a goal that week. Having the calendar and keeping track of your steps and looking back on it may surprise yourself how much you did compared to the week before. Having a small reward in mind is also a nice motivation. For example trying out that new artisanal ice cream, buying some new work-out clothes, getting those exercise bands or a new pair of walking shoes. Make sure to make it a small reward and a healthy choice even when it comes to ice cream!



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