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4 Tips for Sticking With Exercise

What can committed, active teens do when they've lost the motivation to exercise?

3. Give yourself goals you can be excited about.

Think about what you hope to get from exercise this week, this month, and so on. Make it specific and realistic. Picture what that would look like, and how you would feel.

Then write those goals down. Writing a goal is part of the mental process of committing to it. It helps you remember how much you want to succeed. "Don't just write down your goals once, but over and over," Rose-Kayser says. "And keep them posted somewhere that you'll see every day." Reminding yourself why you're doing this could boost your motivation to exercise on those days when you don't feel like it.

4. Keep checking in with yourself about your exercise plan.

You can't control everything in your life, but when and how you exercise is something you can control. You get to change your plan if it isn't working for you. Check your progress toward your goals, too, and see if you want to adjust them or make some new goals.

Being active every day can feel really good. Sticking with exercise will make you healthier in many ways. To give yourself motivation to exercise, follow this advice from Laura Alderman, an exercise physiologist and behaviorist in Fargo, N.D. She suggests that every morning you ask yourself: "What can I do today? What will be good about today?"

Remember to give yourself credit for whatever you do do. Forgive yourself when you slip up -- you're human. Then refocus on your goals and make a plan to get yourself back on track.

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Reviewed on January 13, 2012

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