Tips for Creating and Keeping an Exercise Routine

Woman Stretching Before Exercising

Welcome to Healthy Habits, the newest addition to The Lemon Bowl!  New for 2013, I will address a wide variety of topics including battling sugar cravings, weekly meal planning and more.  In addition to pulling from my own weight loss journey, I will be interviewing and showcasing Registered Dietitians and other health experts who offer a huge wealth of knowledge.

Let’s get started with the dreaded “e word”: exercise.  As I recently shared, it wasn’t until I was 26 years old that I began exercising regularly. Despite having active friends, family and coworkers, I wasn’t ready to get active.  Truth is – I was lazy.  Believe me when I tell you – no one was more surprised than me when I became addicted to exercise.

Ready to catch the exercise bug?

Tips for Creating and Keeping an Exercise Routine

Tips for Creating and Keeping an Exercise Routine:

1. Start Slowly: My first introduction to exercise was at my local Curves. Requiring only 30 minutes, 3 days a week, it was the perfect low-risk solution to help me make exercise a regular part of my routine.  They say it only takes 6 weeks to create a new habit and I found this to be true.

2. Put It In Writing: Every Friday after my weekly weigh-in, I create my workout schedule for the following 7 days. I literally add it to my calendar alongside doctors appointments, work deadlines and business meetings. By looking at the week ahead, you avoid the daily debate of whether you should workout, when you’ll find the time and, so often, the inevitable pushing it back to tomorrow.

3. Tell a Friend: My friend Kristin and I live hundreds of miles apart but every week we share our workout schedules with one another.  By doing this, we are able to check in throughout the week, asking how boot camp went or shooting a quick text on our way out of kickboxing class. It’s a great way to support one another and it also helps you stick to your schedule.

4. Do What You Love: If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you will stop after a few weeks.  I learned this lesson the hard way when I trained for my first 5K. I got bored on the treadmill, ate way more calories than I burned and eventually burnt out and stopped.  Fortunately, I soon discovered group exercise and quickly fell in love with the social nature of working out with others and thrived on instructors who pushed me past my limits.

What do YOU love to do? My little sister loves taking her son for walks every morning. My friend Dara loves to run (read her great advice for running in cold weather!) My husband loves “climbing buildings” on the stair master and breaking his own records for number of stairs climbed. Whether you love to swim, dance, play with your kids or hit a tennis ball – find what you love and you’ll keep going back for more, I promise.

Exercise Chart Example - The Lemon Bowl

5. Track Your Progress: Whether you use an app, a website, a spreadsheet or a piece of paper – track your progress. When I used to go to Curves, I loved scanning my badge each visit and to see how many times I had been there that month.  These days, I use to track my workouts and see how many calories I burned. I love watching the graph fill in with color every time I exercise. It is motivating and pushes me to keep going back for more.

6. Add Variety: The reason I love group exercise is because I can literally take a different class every single day of the week.  Not only does this prevent boredom and burn out but it keeps the body guessing. The human body is very adaptable. As soon as it gets accustom to a certain exercise, that very same exercise quickly becomes less effective (and you start to see the scale stand still.) Not that I would know……

What is your favorite way to get moving? Share your best tips and secrets for keeping active!

Your skinny jeans are waiting.



  1. says

    I’m so glad Aggie and Cassie introduced you and your site to me! Looking so forward to this series and being a regular reader in 2013. I lost a LOT of weight two years ago… by healthy eating and exercise. I developed a LOVE of running and found it a great way to drop and then hold my weight. Unfortunately, two weeks before my first Half this past summer — I discovered my back stopped cooperating with my running and I had to stop. Since then I’ve stopped exercising and returned to crummy eating habits. I JUST got back on track two weeks ago. As I try to discover new ways to find enjoyment in exercising, I LOVE these tips! Great reminders!!!

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      I’m so glad they introduced as as well, Kim! Oh man – you’ve had quite the journey!! Nothing worse than an injury to stop us dead in our tracks. I broke my foot a few years ago and couldn’t even walk for 6 weeks – it was the worst. Good for you for getting back into it 2 weeks ago!! Keep it up and keep me posted!

  2. says

    What a great idea!! My goal in 2013 is to make more time for working out–which is hard w/ a little one. I am sure you have lots of great tips since you did such a great job with loosing weight.

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      I hear you, Julia!! Does your gym offer a kids area? Signing my son up for that was one of the best decisions I made in 2012!! It makes working out almost seem like free baby sitting. 😉

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Well if you ever need a buddy, send it to me! You could always post on my FB page. :) It really does help me and I love the accountability!! Thanks again for reading my new healthy habits post. :)

  3. says

    I am going to include this in my Case of the Mondays Favorites post today–hope that is ok!! I just link up to your site with a short description.


  4. says

    I really like riding my bike along the bike path in my neighborhood. I also like to walk around the lake at our local park.

    I also do Zumba when it’s raining or too cold outside but I’d much rather be exercising in the fresh air than indoors! :)

  5. says

    Great list! After many years of playing competitive sports, I have no problem staying active… But I do have a problem staying focused at the gym. I can’t do cardio for too long without getting distracted so I usually will bring a magazine or try to go when there’s a good show on TV to keep me motivated 😛

  6. says

    Love this! You are awesome…and I miss you by the way. Yes it’s a new year, and I have my Fitness Pal burning up these days. I love taking walks with friends. I used to love kickboxing and other fun classes but now that my back is giving me fits that is hard to do. Next week I am trying pilates for the first time, I hope it is just what the Dr. ordered…literally. thanks for all your great encouragement and wisdom. xoxox

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Oh man- Kick is so hard on the back. :( I really do love walking outside and I can’t wait for the weather to warm up!!! Thank you for reading friend. I MISS YOUR FACE! Can we play?

  7. says

    Awesome tips! Great post indeed. Most people extremely hate the thought of exercising. It doesn’t have to be some sort of torturous activity you should loathe. It is something that most of us doesn’t like or don’t fairly understand how to get into it properly.


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