Your fitness program: Tips for staying motivated

By Mayo Clinic staff

Have you ever started a fitness program and then quit? If you answer yes, you're not alone. Many people start programs but stop when they get bored or results come too slowly.

The following tips can help you stay motivated.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you complete at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. The National Academies'Institute of Medicine suggests 60 minutes of exercise if you wish to lose weight.

If group activities appeal to you, consider enrolling in an aerobic dance or water aerobics class, or joining a league or team for bowling, volleyball or softball. Walk or bike with a group of friends.

External rewards can also help keep you motivated. When you reach a longer-range goal, consider treating yourself to a new pair of walking shoes or a new compact disc.

Now that you're enthused again, get moving. Set your goals, make it fun and pat yourself on the back from time to time. Review these tips whenever you feel your motivation sliding.