Womens Health

7 Strategies to Build Your Accountability Team

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by Susan Sommers and Theresa Dugwell

Authors of Power Source for Women:  Proven Fitness Strategies, Tools, and Success Stories for Women 45+, BPS Books, $19.95, paperback. 

#1.  Do something for yourself

Make fitness a top priority in your life. Schedule fitness the way you would arrange an important meeting or appointment. It is a priority on par with work, family, and other commitments. Block off times for physical activity on a regular basis and make sure your friends, family, and colleagues are aware of your commitment. Pay attention to your own needs.

#2. Find other people to support you and support others

Share your fitness goals, passion, and dreams with other people who are likely to support you. Tell them they have permission to help, inspire, and to ask about your progress. That kind of support and leverage will keep you motivated.

The social aspect can uplift you and break down feelings of isolation. Find someone you are comfortable with and make dates to take walks or to work out at the gym. Also, look around your gym or classes to find other people who are struggling. Do you see newcomers having difficulty figuring out how to use the equipment? Offer to help them or teach a Yoga class to friends or co-workers.

#3: Make exercise and fitness activities a family affair

Ask your partner, spouse, or children to share your activities. Use the weekends to bike ride, ice skate, play tennis, bowl, golf (or miniature golf), jog, or walk as a family!

#4. Create a Walking Group

Ask your friends, family members, people from your neighborhood, or colleagues at work to join you. Find people with similar goals, such as losing weight, enjoying nature, starting a jogging routine, or hiking.

  • Decide when, where, and how often you will walk and whether you will go outdoors or indoors. Map out your routes and continue to add distance and to increase the level of difficulty.
  • Prepare the right equipment for walking: a pedometer (your goal should be 10,000 steps each day), an appropriate type of shoe, identification, a water bottle, cash, a cell phone, and a map.
  • After each walk, gather for a healthy breakfast, lunch, or latte at a local restaurant of cafe.
  • Keep track of your progress in our FIT Weekly Log, including the distance you walked, how long it took, difficulty of walk, and your level of enjoyment.

#5. Sign up for a team sport or a league

Become involved in a curling club, a hiking club, a cycling group, or a running group. The expectations of others can push you to succeed. Hard work and self-improvement are great motivators, and the inner-competition to keep up will encourage you to increase your level of activity.

#6: Join an online community or blog

Look for people with similar goals, activities, and motivation as you have.

#7. Hire a personal trainer to get you started and to keep you on track

  • Hire a certified expert to provide a personalized assessment and to develop a realistic plan to achieve your fitness goals.
  • ·        If possible, get a referral from someone you know who works with the trainer. An experienced trainer can sense the need for minor or major changes in the frequency, intensity, and duration of your fitness program. He or she can provide a stronger foundation by teaching you proper exercise form.
  • Ask for a resume and evaluate their education in exercise science or aging, certification from an accredited organization, experience with people your age, work with people with medical conditions, and references you can check.
  • Here are some things to consider when working with a personal trainer:

What is the personality of the trainer? Does he or she listen to you, explain everything clearly, have a sense of humor, and love the work?

To cut costs, share personal training sessions with your partner, friends or colleagues.


 Contact / Lisa Baker / The Blaine Group / 310.360.1499 / www.blainegroupinc.com