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Community Manager

Ask our Fitness Enthusiast - Week 2 - Staying Motivated!

We all struggle to keep good habits! Find out some great ways to stay motivated and more from our fitness enthusiast. Ask her your questions about Fitness and you will earn 50 AARP Rewards points at the same time!
AARPTeri
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Periodic Contributor

I am a 68 year old.  Can I do AARP yoga classes to stay motivated!  Thanks!

Regular Contributor

This is a great idea!  Finding movement you enjoy (and that feels doable for you) is the key to sticking with it!  Enjoy!  🙂

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Contributor

Hi Teri

I have been on a serious fitness journey. I have lost 17 lbs in 2 months.  However, I seem to be at a standstill.  I have been biking daily and doing floor exercises.  Recently, added a 1 day a week class of exercise thru AARP. So what else should I do to start the ball rolling again!

VEE

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Regular Contributor

First up, CONGRATULATIONS!!  You're doing great, and good for you!  To answer your question, here's my best advice:  don't change anything!  What you're doing IS working, and it's very likely that your body just needs a moment to adjust to all the changes you've implemented in the last two months.

Managing your expectations, being patient, and loving and appreciating your amazing body are all essential elements of this fitness journey, too (it's not ALL about exercising!).

There is a point of diminishing returns on exercise, where you're actually doing TOO MUCH for your body to adapt to, so I don't recommend adding anything else to your routine.  Instead, make a real point to notice how you are improving at the work you're currently doing.  Isn't it amazing how biking has already gotten easier?  And getting up and down from the ground doesn't take as much effort?  Celebrating your wins will keep you motivated to continue, and help you shift the focus away from only noticing the scale.

I promise, your body is making all kinds of healthy and exciting changes right now that have nothing to do with your weight!  ❤️

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Contributor

What's the best way to get and stay motivated to exercise?  I just can't get started and if I do, I can't stick with it.....

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Regular Contributor

Such a great question!  One of the nicest things you can do for yourself here is to be really curious, and here's what I mean:  you stated to me that you "can't" get started and "can't" stick with it, but WHY?  And that's a real question!  What is it that you're telling yourself about exercise?

That you don't like it?

That it's too hard?

That it never does you any good anyway?

That it's too overwhelming to know where to start?

None of these thoughts are very motivating!  🙂  So, let's be curious about HOW you might feel motivated.

What if you chose something that you actually enjoy, no matter what that is?  (Gardening is exercise! Walking is exercise!  Moving your body AT ALL is exercise!)

What if you allowed yourself to be a beginner and just go easy on yourself?

What if you stuck with it long enough to start seeing and feeling some results?

What if you just started with something super simple and really enjoyable?

These are all GREAT ways to get and stay motivated!  Doing simple activities that are FUN for you will keep you coming back for more day after day!

Contributor

Hi, looking for suggestions to tighten tummy and tone arms. I am an avid walker but hard to motivate myself to do tummy and arm weight training.

Thanks

Debbie

Thanks.

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Regular Contributor

Hi Debbie!  Yay for walking and enjoying yourself!  It sounds like you already know what you need to do to get the toning results you want, but have maybe convinced yourself that it won't be as enjoyable as doing the thing you already love.

The great news here is that you don't need to do a lot of weights work to get results!  Adding on a super simple routine of two or three  exercises a couple of times a week (maybe right before you go on your walk!) has lots of benefits that will show up over time when you're consistent.

Choose the simplest exercises, so you can stick with them, and enjoy yourself!  🙂

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Contributor

Hi Pahla and Teri,

I was a regular gym attendee until COVID hit last year and I have done very little exercising since. I really enjoyed group classes in aerobics and yoga which my gym no longer supports, but now I've gained weight and exercise rarely. Any ideas to get me motivated to go back to the gym (it still has no group classes) or to start working out regularly?  Thanks, Cliff

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Regular Contributor

This is such a great question!  Which means that I have a question for you in return.  🙂  What was it about going to the gym that you really ENJOYED?

When you can narrow down WHY you liked it (which helped you stick with it), you'll be on the path to moving and working out regularly again!

Was it the routine?  The camaraderie?  The instructors?  The specific type of exercise?  Feeling like you had time to yourself?

There are all kinds of reasons why you might have enjoyed the gym and once you know what they are, you can recreate that feeling for yourself again, at home or in your gym, by purposefully noticing how you feel and what you're thinking!  

Remind yourself, "I enjoy this because _____" until it feels like a habit again.

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Regular Contributor

Love this topic!  Staying motivated is a critical piece of the fitness puzzle, for sure!

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Contributor

Could you please suggest exercises to reduce belly fat?  I stretch and exercise every morning but I'm frustrated with belly fat.

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Regular Contributor

Such an important question!  Belly fat is similar to any other body fat, meaning that if you have weight to lose, the way to lose it is by eating the right number of calories consistently, exercising regularly, sleeping adequately, drinking the right amount of water and managing your stress.

If you're already a healthy weight, but have fat around your middle, your best bet is to really focus on the last thing in that list above!  STRESS is what causes us to gain weight in our torso area.  Being frustrated with belly fat could actually be the reason it's sticking around!

Being mindful of your thoughts, speaking kindly to yourself, and continuing with your healthy habits is your best bet here.  ❤️

Contributor

Interesting!  I didn't think I was stressed but I will try to be mindful of my thoughts, etc.  Thanks!

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Contributor

What are the best stretches for the hip flexes?

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Regular Contributor

This is such an interesting question, and I'll ask you one in return:  WHY do you want to stretch your hip flexors?

Here's why I ask:  Often, when we get stiffness or tightness in a particular area of our body, we are inclined to think we need to stretch to help alleviate it.  But stretching isn't always your best bet!  In fact, sometimes stretching can exacerbate the problem.

So, my answer if you are experiencing pain or tightness is to speak with your doctor and request physical therapy.  A PT will know exactly what your issue is and how to fix it with targeted exercises, stretches, and possibly myo-fascial release work.

Contributor

Thanks, I will be speaking my physician about this.

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