3 Ways to Avoid Fitness Flakiness

Only one in four adults who start a fitness program sticks with it long-term. Here's how to be the successful exception to the rule:

1. Picture yourself as a fit person. Make the mental image as detailed as you can, says Connie Tyne, executive director of the Cooper Wellness Program in Dallas. What do you do on weekends? How do you dress? What do you eat?

2. Accentuate the positive. Ditch the excuses and focus on the benefits, suggests Karen Cogan, Ph.D., a sport psychologist with the University of North Texas Center for Sports Psychology and Performance Excellence in Denton. "The more rewards you can call to mind, the more likely you are to work out."

3. Make specific plans. Decide on the number of exercise sessions you'll do during the month and when, including duration and frequency, suggests John DiFiori, M.D., an associate professor in the University of California, Los Angeles, division of sports medicine. The more specific your plans, the less likely you are to weasel out of them.

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