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Solutions for 4 common fitness 'mistakes'

Most of us have gone through the process of setting a fitness goal - only to sabotage it before even lacing up our sneakers.

Dec. 13, 2012   |  
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10,000 steps per day is an achievable goal.
10,000 steps per day is an achievable goal. / Jose Luis Pelaez / Getty Images

Most of us have gone through the process of setting a fitness goal — only to sabotage it before even lacing up our sneakers. Exercise physiologist and personal trainer Bob Greene says you can set yourself up for success by avoiding these common mistakes.

Viewing regimen as temporary. Many people think that when they achieve their goal, they won’t have to work out or diet anymore, Greene says. “That, to me, is one of the biggest mistakes. ... You have to think you’re going to do that for the rest of your life. It’s more realistic.”

Focusing on the negative. About 98% of people have some kind of weight they want to lose, Greene says. “If you go into it wanting to lose weight or be more attractive, you’re focusing more on the negative and not how you can improve your life through many different avenues.”

Dwelling on failure. When you’ve made six attempts that have failed, trying again can be a challenge. But failures can work for you, too. “When you spend time visiting why you haven’t met with success, you’ll start to see that almost everyone falls in a pattern of what jolts them out of a healthy lifestyle.” Recognize your downfall and tackle it.

Discounting walking. Track how much you move; Greene recommends a goal of 10,000 steps a day. “Start a walking program and then look into getting a pedometer. ... Over time, if you’re making more steps, then you’ll realize you’re making progress. Every step counts.”

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