Even the most determined people may find that by April, their New Year's resolution to exercise has lost some of its steam. But you can reclaim your routine. The biggest challenge may come in getting yourself back into an exercise frame of mind, according to Exercise: A Program You Can Live With, a new report from Harvard Medical School.

Instead of expending energy on feeling guilty and defeated, focus on what it'll take to get started again. Here are a few tricks you might try to rekindle your motivation:

-- Imagine yourself exercising. Recall the aspects of exercise you enjoy most.

-- Come up with a tantalizing reward to give yourself when you meet your first goal after resuming your program.

-- Line up walking partners for your next few outings.

-- If completing your whole exercise routine seems overwhelming, mentally divide it into smaller chunks, and give yourself the option of stopping at the end of each one. However, when you reach a checkpoint, encourage yourself to move on to the next one instead of quitting.

-- Rather than focus on why you don't want to exercise, concentrate on how good you feel when you've finished a workout.

Harvard Health Publications
health.harvard.edu

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