Here are highlights:
- Find something you enjoy. Bottom line, they say, if you don't like what you're doing, you won't stick with it. If you're not sure what you like, explore: Take a dance class, learn to Rollerblade or swim, or hike in some nearby mountains. Try them all. Keep experimenting until you find the thing that moves you, mentally and physically.
- Be a morning exerciser. Statistics show that people are more likely to stick with a fitness program if they exercise first thing in the morning, says exercise physiologist Kelli Calabrese. There's less of a chance to make excuses, and you get it over with before your day begins.
- Schedule your workout. "Write it in your planner just like a meeting or appointment," says Calabrese. Schedule a whole month in advance, writing the day and time of your workout. "And if you have to cancel one, reschedule it immediately."
- Chart your progress. Start by getting a fitness assessment when you first begin a program. (If you're not a gym member, do it on your own. Write down your weight, measurements, and BMI, then record how long you're able to exercise on the first day.) In three months, you'll see how much progress you made.
- Abandon the all-or-nothing approach. So you don't have an hour? How about 30 minutes? It's certainly better than nothing, and if you work smart, you can really reap benefits from a 30-minute workout, says exercise physiologist Nicole Gunning. And recognize you're fallible. You'll fall off the wagon a time or two. Don't beat yourself up. Just get back into your routine and stop procrastinating.