Getting Back on Track

— Written By Christine Smith and last updated by Diane Lynch

How many of you made a resolution to become more physically active this year? What progress have you made? Are you on track or have you abandoned your regiment and commitment? Even the best intentions sometimes get pushed aside. The key is to recognize what is happening and get back on track early in the game.

Two of the most common reasons people do not engage in regular physical activity are lack of time and loss of motivation. To be successful in an exercise or activity program, you must overcome these barriers and recommit to yourself and your health.

What I have learned over the years is that you will come closer to exercising if you make it a priority in your life. That means you cannot put it at the bottom of the to-do-list. Make it the main priority for the day. Let’s take a look at some specific time management strategies to help you achieve your exercise goals.

Schedule your time to exercise as though it were an important meeting with your boss. Write it into your planner so that it becomes part of your daily routine. Don’t let errands and workload sidetrack you. You’ll get more done after you’re energized with exercise.
• Fit exercise in while on the job. For example, walk, jog, or swim during your lunch hour, or take fitness breaks instead of coffee breaks. Have “walking meetings” with business colleagues. Exercise at your desk doing flexibility exercises to prevent fatigue, back, neck, and shoulder pain.
• Choose a time of day that you are consistently free. I am a morning person so it is the first thing I do almost everyday as other activities are less likely to get in the way. Not a morning person? Use your lunch break to take a walk with a coworker. Go for a walk after dinner.
• Add physical activity to your daily routine. For example, walk or ride your bike to work or shopping, organize school activities around physical activity, walk the dog, exercise while watching TV, park farther away from your destination, etc.
• Spread your exercise time throughout the day. If you can’t find 30 continuous minutes to exercise, break your routine into smaller time periods. Lift weights for 15 minutes before you leave for work and go jogging for 15 minutes when you come home.
• Delegate. Let your spouse and children share the workload. Think of it as your duty to teach responsibility, teamwork, and a strong work ethic to your loved ones.
• Make exercise a part of family activities. Why not include family members in your activity? Take the kids to the park, go for a hike or go swimming at the local pool. Not only will you find time for activity, but you will also set a positive example for your children and others.

Most of all keep in mind that getting back on track is more important than a small lapse. Your body builds some memory when you exercise. A lapse will cause muscle memory loss that parallels the length of time off, so if you take a week off your body won’t forget much of the strength and endurance you’ve built. Just try to get back on track as soon as possible and stay positive.

Thought to Ponder:
Place your health among your highest priorities. Once you make a commitment to your health, you make time to exercise.

NCSU & NC A&T University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.

Christine W. Smith
Extension Agent
Family and Consumer Sciences
North Carolina Cooperative Extension
Wayne County Center
P. O. Box 68
Goldsboro, NC 27533
Phone: 919-731-1525
Fax: 919-731-1511

Posted on Apr 25, 2013
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