Stick with your fitness plan

Tanja Shaw offers five tips to help you stick to your fitness program.

It’s three weeks into January – which means that if you set a New Years Resolution or goal to improve your health this year, it should still be fresh in your mind. If getting in shape is on your agenda this year, remember that the key is to stick to your exercise program – results do not appear overnight. Once you’ve been at it for six months to a year, you will likely adopt exercise as part of your lifestyle, and enjoy it.

Five tips to stick to your program:

Have fun! Exercise does not have to be difficult or monotonous. Pick an activity which you enjoy. If you enjoy the outdoors, explore the local hiking trails or go for a walk along the Chilliwack River. If you like socializing, check out the leisure section on for sports groups. If you have kids, go outside and play with them. If you are not sure what you enjoy, try a new activity! You may want to take a yoga or dance class, or spend a day swimming at the pool.

Forget about it. If you really don’t like exercising- forget that you are! Walk to the coffee shop for a mid-morning treat. Go for a bike ride with a friend and enjoy the company. Set up your stationary bike in front of the television to keep up to date with Oprah. Or, fill your iPod with upbeat favourites and move to the music. You will push yourself a little bit harder and keep the smile on your face.

Change it up! Variety is the spice of your active life. If you don’t feel like going to your regular aerobics class, go for a riverside bike ride instead. Not only will you keep enthused to workout, but you will avoid the infamous plateau by constantly challenging your body.

Get fit for a cause. Sign up for a charity run or walk, and train for it. With a goal in mind, getting out the door will become a little easier.  There are many events on the island and lower mainland to choose from. You will feel good knowing that you are helping a good cause.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life happens. You may get called in to work when you were supposed to go to the gym; you may miss a few workouts due to a cold. Exercise is a part of your life so a few days off will not sabotage your plan to get in shape. You can get back on track just as easily as you got off. Move your body when you can, however you can. And enjoy your body!

Tanja Shaw is a Kinesiologist and personal trainer.  She owns Ascend Fitness Coaching, home to Ascend Fitness Boot Camp, Stroller Boot Camp, and Personal Training programs. For more tips go to