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3 Secrets to Living—and Loving—an Active Life

3 Secrets to Living—and Loving—an Active Life

Most of us start the new year in love with our new workout gear, only to see it gather dust in the closet a month later. Here's how to keep your interest in activity alive and kicking.

In her book Outdoor Fitness, exercise guru and author Tina Vindum recommends this three-pronged approach: meet, play, love.

  1. Meet. When you have a workout buddy who's planning to meet you for a run or cardio class, you'll be more motivated to follow through. And group workouts and classes offer a built-in support system, with shared goals, social interaction and stick-to-it instructors. Yep, it definitely pays to sweat well with others. 
  2. Play. Think outside the box when it comes to getting active. Any single workout is bound to get stale if you do it over and over. Mix it up a little. Every third day or so, try something that you've never done before. This strategy can also help you use different muscle groups and keep your body from reaching a fitness plateau. Nothing exciting coming to mind? How about African dancing, rope jumping or roller skating? Even if you're not feeling that ambitious, you can always try small changes like a new isometric exercise, a new workout video in your own home, or a new batch of tunes on your walk. 
  3. Love. Every once in a while, as you're trying new activities and sports, you may happen upon something that you absolutely love. And that's great. Find a way to integrate that new activity into your routine regularly, whether it's swimming, skiing, snowshoeing, doing jumping jacks or simply walking a new route that's really pretty. Ideally, your day-to-day activity strategy should be something that stimulates your mind, body and emotions. (Can't think of any new exercise forms to try? Find out how a video game can help you get fit and have fun.)

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

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