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Making that New Years Resolution Stick - Tips to Sustain a Workout Regimen

Posted Dec 12 2008 2:51pm
Bienvenidos and welcome. By visiting my blog today, you are already one step closer to a healthier new you. The goal of this blog is to accomplish my mission of helping you be your personal best so, I hope you’ll come back regularly and email me often. I’d love to hear from you.

It’s a new year, the best time for a fresh start and, if getting in shape is your goal…way to go! But, WARNING... if you’re like most people, you’ll find that adhering to a newly adopted fitness program may inevitably be overridden by your old habits. So, if you're watching NBC's Biggest Loser and wondering if you can get into shape too, here’s some advice to get started and, more importantly, sustain your exercise regimen.

Adopting and then adhering to a new exercise regimen is heavily based on behavior modification. If you don't exercise regularly, you have yet to develop the synapses that will ultimately strengthen that habit. A synapse is a junction between two nerve cells where the club-shaped tip of a nerve fiber almost touches another cell in order to transmit signals in your brain. You must cultivate the new habit of exercise by regularly stimulating those nerve cells to repeatedly fire signals between one another. Your synapses increase plasticity the more you stimulate the firing of signals between them just as a muscle becomes stronger the more you repeat a physical function. Through repeated thoughts connected to specific physically activity, you will strengthen those synapses and ingrain the new habit into your mind. At first, the habit of NOT working out is much stronger than the new habit of working out. So, you must cultivate and develop your newly adopted habit by simultaneously incorporating new actions and cognitive thoughts about that action, on a daily bases. As Nike says, “just do it”, over and over again.

Here’s how you can develop the habit of exercise.

1. First of all, you must set your sights on a "goal"- without it, the dream of becoming fit can easily fizzle away with any little distraction.

2. Goals must be "Smart" goals. They must be:

Specific- Example: "I'm going to lose 15 pounds.

Measurable- You need to be accountable to yourself by periodically checking your progress. To check your progress, you must have a “baseline” or starting point for future reference and comparisons. I recommend you measure weight, body fat and metabolic rate. Every 30 days, remeasure and compare. If you've been following a sound fitness program (and eating healthy, well portioned meals) you will realize several small victories along the way. Every little victory will compel you to continue and move closer to your ultimate goal.

Action- Discipline yourself to physically get up and move! Whether you hire a personal trainer, join a club, buy a bike or a treadmill, or follow along with my Mambo Mania DVD’s – the surgeon general prescribes a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio vascular exercise most days of the week. Now mind you, this is simply to maintain general health and well being. To reach your goal, you'll have to do more.

Realistic- The crux to successfully reaching your goal is to set a realistic goal. The only way to lose weight in a healthy fashion is to lose 1-2 lbs per week. If you have 15 lbs to lose, it will take you 15 weeks, (3 1/2 months). So, if your goal is to be in shape for that wedding, that family reunion, or some other occasion, you need to check you calendar and outline your strategy NOW!

Target- Make a circle on your calendar - keep that date in mind and go do something today! You may not be able to do 30 minutes of cardio in one fell swoop so, start with 5 minutes of cardio then do 2 or 3 muscle conditioning exercises (your trainer can help you with these. If you don’t have a trainer, go to my site order my Flex’n Stretch’n Pump’n Mambo Mania DVD -there are several muscle conditioning exercises in the “Flex’n sections of the workout.). I recommend a comprehensive workout for best results, meaning- include cardio, muscle conditioning, flexibility exercises along with proper nutrition. Your second week, increase your cardio to 10 minutes and add 2 new muscle conditioning exercises. Week 3- increase cardio to 15 minutes and add an additional 2-3 muscle conditioning exercises… so on and so forth. Attempt to increase your cardio to 30 minutes and to do 9-12 muscle conditioning exercise.

3. The current research says that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. Do your program for 21 days straight and your chances of creating a new habit are in the bag! Good luck!
For great tips and workout programs to help you on your way, please visit myMambo Maniawebsite to check out all my DVDs and my Metabolic Cure nutritional program.
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