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Tips for Sticking With Exercise

Everyone starts exercising with the best of intentions, but sticking with fitness for the long haul can be challenging. That’s because you have to turn exercise into a habit, and experts say that can take up to eight months.

So how do you stay motivated?

“In my experience, people stay with an exercise routine that is quick, fun, and has a lot of variety,” says Antonio Grajo, Jr., M.Ed., a certified strength training and conditioning specialist and a HealthFitness program manager in Providence. “It also has to be realistic. If it’s too hard, people tend to give up. If it’s too easy, people get bored.”

Antonio offers these tips to help you overcome common hurdles to exercising.

HURDLE: “It's too expensive.”
SOLUTION : Try low-cost alternatives.

Antonio says that simple exercises that we’ve been doing since childhood—such as walking, running, and jogging—are still terrific ways to get fit. And you don’t need a fitness professional to correct your form.

You can also save money on fitness streaming services, fitness equipment, athletic footwear, gym memberships, and much more through your member-only discount program, Blue365. You'll find deals from 45+ national retailers. Sign up at blue365deals.com/bcbsri

HURDLE: “I’m bored.”
SOLUTION : Keep experimenting.

If you hate running or using the elliptical machine, don’t! Instead, try different types of exercise—like yoga or dance-based fitness—until you find one that’s fun. A great way to experiment is through online Your Blue Store Studio exercise and mindfulness classes, which are offered live every weekday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. through our Facebook group. Can't make the live classes? View the videos anytime. Classes are different every day, and all fitness levels are welcome.*

HURDLE: “I don’t have time anymore.”
SOLUTION : Sneak in exercise whenever you can.

“Taking the stairs or walking your dog are great ways to make exercise a regular part of your day,” says Antonio. “You can also get in a short workout first thing in the morning, while watching television, or during a break in your day.” It can be helpful to schedule time for exercise into your calendar.

Here’s a quick but intense workout that Antonio recommends.

  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 20 push-ups (on your knees or on your toes)
  • 20 squats

Work up to doing that cycle three times in a row.

HURDLE: “I’m not seeing results.”
SOLUTION : Focus on exercising itself, not the end results.

Keep in mind that noticeable changes take time, and exercise is improving your health in ways you cannot see. Regular exercise can reduce stress, boost your energy, improve your sleep, and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

*Not all exercises are suitable for everyone and any exercise program could result in injury. Always consult with your physician before beginning an exercise program, especially if you have an existing health condition.