Lisa Rebucci and her family have been getting healthier since January with Family Circle's help (visit familycircle.com/healthyfamily2011 to learn more). Thanks to a regular workout regimen—three weekly trips to the gym and a daily walk—this 47-year-old's energy levels shot up as inches fell off her waist and thighs. Recently, though, Lisa's willpower has waned. "My trainer says I'm gaining muscle and getting stronger, but my scale hasn't budged in a few weeks," she says. "Now that I've stopped seeing big results, I'm not as excited to hit the gym." On top of that, her two boys (ages 13 and 11) are off from school for the summer and demanding more of her time, as she's trying to keep up with an upswing in her home pet-sitting business. Not to mention that she's finding it hard to resist her favorite summertime foods (especially corn on the cob with butter and salt).
Lisa's lapse in enthusiasm mirrors what many women encounter after several months of dieting and exercising, says Robert Reames, the official trainer of The Dr. Phil Show. The majority of people quit their training program within a year. Stress, boredom and a lack of progress are among the top reasons cited, says Reames.
The key to reenergizing a fitness plan boils down to one tenet: It should be fun. "Exercise should relieve anxiety, not worsen it," Reames says. Even before committing to a year of healthier living, Lisa enjoyed walking near her home in Chester, New Jersey. "If Lisa goes back to focusing solely on walking for even just a couple weeks, she'll remember how good it feels," Reames says. "It will help motivate her to get back on track and return to the gym too." During this 40-minute routine, created by Reames, Lisa will alter her pace or walking style every five minutes. The frequent changes will liven things up, and the variation will ensure she's getting a total-body workout.