Tips to stick to your exercise regimen in 2009

A new year is officially under way and so are many exercise programs. Whether early morning visits to the gym or a frigid evening jog, statistics show that these programs will only last an average of six weeks.

This trend is somewhat disheartening, although there are key strategies to sustain an exercise regimen before bathing suit season arrives:

Buddy system. Successful efforts in physical training are always helped by having a partner. It may be a spouse, sibling or friend. A personal trainer can be a great partner to help overcome some of the intimidation of going to a gym. A training partner adds accountability to a program as well as a social dimension.

Equipment. Any investment in fitness equipment is a good investment if the equipment is used. Sturdy machines that can be used with minimal difficulty are advised. While these are typically more expensive, refurbished equipment is often a good bargain.

Entertainment. Watching television, reading or listening to music can help pass the time and make exercise more productive. Portable music players are used by many athletes who listen to music as well as podcasts and audio books.

Time. Many exercise failures are due to an inability to find the necessary time. Consider exercise an appointment that must be kept for at least 30 minutes, three times per week.

Variety. Interval training combines multiple activities for short intervals in one workout session. This is a very efficient and stimulating way to become fit. The key factor here is that each segment must be done at full effort.

At some time, most of us will falter in our fitness efforts. Keep in mind that a new year begins every minute of every day. Simply begin again.

If readers have tips to help others continue their workouts, please share them here.

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