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Fitting Tone-Ups into Your Schedule

Whether your goal is to tone up in 30 days for an event or establish a lifetime commitment to health, scheduling daily ten-minute tone-ups requires time-management skills. (Think about the occasions when you've put together a "to-do" list and never got to the "doing" part!) Consider these keys points in your journey from wishful thinking to realization of a healthy new you.

Prioritizing

You've heard the mantra, "If you want something done, ask a busy person." Successful business men and women, dynamic homemakers, and people who pull off both roles all have two things in common: They are busy and they prioritize. You can incorporate your ten minute tone-ups into your life with a little of their wisdom. Follow these suggestions:

  • Make a "to-do" list: Don't let your head get cluttered with things that need to be done ¯ get them on paper. A to-do list works best if you make a new one every day. Insert "do ten minute tone-ups" each day in your planner pad or PDA to serve as a visible call to action.
  • Prioritize items: Place your most important goals at the top of the list and try to accomplish these first. Schedule your ten-minute tone-ups as a priority. Avoid doing unnecessary or routine items (reading your horoscope, playing video games) first because that can keep you from accomplishing projects that are a top priority, such as exercise.
  • Not doing it all: If you are very busy, you may not be able to complete the whole list. Accept this condition as an opportunity to make a new list for the next day.
    The world around and beyond you probably won't crumble if you leave a few things undone —today and even, tomorrow. Just keep your goals in sight and in balance.

Finding a workout buddy

Can a workout buddy help you stick to your ten-minute tone-ups schedule and get great results? It depends on the type of buddy.

  • Avoid a bad buddy: A bad buddy constantly makes excuses to skip a workout, such as shopping or just being too tired. He or she may spend the whole session talking, which exercises your jaw but not much else. And it's not unusual to be coerced into going out afterwards for something fattening to eat. Boot the bad buddy bye-bye.
  • Getting a good buddy: Getting a good buddy is a great idea. The camaraderie can help both of you stick to the schedule. If you slip, he or she encourages you, and vice versa. Together, you eat healthy, stay active and committed, and offer each other helpful tips.

Entertaining fitness

Who says fitness has to be boring? To stay enthusiastic, you can make it more entertaining. Do your ten minute tone-ups while watching a favorite DVD or video, for example. Many people enjoy running on a treadmill or peddling a stationary bike while reading The Wall Street Journal or a romance novel. Use your MP3 player or a headset and CD player to listen to your favorite music. Or perhaps an audio book. In any case, entertainment can distract you from becoming overly conscious of what your body is doing.

Logging your activities

A good way to schedule fitness into your life is to log your activities. Be as specific as you can with your log. Jot down everything you do, from walking at the mall to doing your ten-minute tone-up sessions. Don't forget to write down the time spent on all activities. Use this logged information to help you increase your activity level and chart your progress.

One way to increase your activity level is to take the stairs when you can instead of the elevator. And rather than going up one step at a time, go up two steps at a time.

Discovering your personal optimum fitness time

Ten minute tone-ups can be done wherever and whenever you want. You may wonder when is the best time to schedule them to get optimum results. Some experts push morning workouts as if they were the only option. That's fine if you are a morning person and your schedule allows for it. The ten-minute focus can even give a sluggish person more energy in the early hours of the day. However, if you are so slow in the morning that your techniques and form are off, you might be better off toning up later in the day. Your workout sessions will be more effective if you do them when you are at your best. Consider what time of the day fits best into your life schedule, as well as when your body responds most efficiently. That's your optimum fitness time.

Say no to others

Sometimes taking time for yourself can cause others in your life to get upset because it takes attention away from them. Try these suggestions.

  • Just say no: This can sometimes be the hardest word to say in the dictionary. Nobody wants to appear rude and uncaring. However, there are situations when other people can have you doing things that are simply a waste of your time. Become comfortable with a straight no or a simple apology that explains you are busy.
  • Make a compromise: Sometimes a straight no doesn't feel right, especially if it's a child, best friend, or significant other. This is where making a compromise can be helpful. For example, say your son is begging to go see the latest hot movie, but you want to tone up. To save time, have him fold the laundry and do a few other chores you need done. This frees you to tone up, gets the chores done, and you can both enjoy the movie.
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