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From Couch to Course: 9 Simple Steps to Get on the Right Track

Updated January 2, 2017

With the Newport News One City Marathon right around the corner, health and wellness is on our minds. But if you’re anything like us, exercising is hard. More than that, it’s hard to keep it going after a “healthy streak” for a few weeks. The tips below are what experts have found work for maintaining an active lifestyle. These will be especially helpful if you’re registering for the One City Marathon and training for the “Nautical Mile”, 8K, marathon relay, or the full-blown marathon.

1. Prepare to create an active lifestyle.

If I told you that catching up with a friend or spending quality time with your children is “working out,” would you believe me? Creating an active lifestyle can accomplish just this. Take a walk with a friend or take your kids on a bike ride and voilà, you’ve done it! By making fitness a way of life, you will find more time to stay moving, even if it’s just 20-30 minutes a day.

2. Give yourself “non-food” rewards.

Rewards work, big or small. Set short-term and long-term goals for yourself, and then pair them with a reward. It could be as simple as flowers or permission to take an evening to yourself, but make it good so that it will get you through those tougher moments!

  1. 3. Anticipate days where you won’t feel motivated.

Speaking of tougher moments, these are a reality that you should prepare for. We all have had those days where the couch is so much more appealing than the gym, but expect those beforehand. If you resolve to exercise before your feet hit the floor each morning, you are more likely to follow through rather than if you make the decision “in the moment.”

4. Buy workout clothes you feel good in.

This just helps! When you look good, you feel good and are more likely to be motivated to put those new clothes to use. You'll feel comfortable and look forward to wearing your new workout gear, which only boosts the desire to exercise.

  1. 5. Keep your playlist fresh.

Adding new songs to your workout playlist is always helpful. It's a good way to keep you looking forward to your workouts, even if it's just to listen to that new song or album you've just uploaded. 

  1. 6. Avoid Danger Zones.

What are danger zones? These are the places that you can get stuck before a workout, including the couch, porch, phone and even work. Set boundaries for your allotted workout time and guard it with everything you’ve got! That time is precious and will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  1. 7. Keep track of your progress.

It can be so rewarding to log each workout as it is accomplished. Seeing your progress over time is also motivating. Write it down, or even snap a photo or screen shot of your workout so you can see tangible progress.

  1. 8. Stay hydrated.

Whether it’s during these hot summer months or when it begins to cool down, hydration is key to a successful workout. Drink water throughout your day and be sure to have that H2O ready before and after each activity. Our friends at Flat-Out Events give great tips on how to beat the heat this time of year.

  1. 9. Enjoy your local trails.

Lastly, living an active lifestyle gives you the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful trails that surround you. In Newport News, we get to enjoy Newport News Park, the Noland Trail, the City Center Fountain and more. All of these locations are easily accessible and easy to navigate. Some of these are also locations that you will come across if you are participating in the One City Marathon, which will give you a great headstart in your training.