Renew your commitment to fitness

It's May, when summer is around the corner and your exercise clothes are calling out: "Put me on." It's National Physical Fitness and Sports month, when Americans are encouraged to take advantage of the pleasant weather and longer days to get some exercise. For some, fitness routines fell by the wayside over the winter.

If you want to restart your exercise routine, check with your provider to make sure your workouts make sense for you. After that, it's a good idea to ease slowly back into a routine. Even if you rode 100 miles on your bike last fall, you'll want to start this spring with more moderate rides.

Then it's a matter of re-establishing your routine. Whatever you do, try to commit to doing it four to five times each week. Think of it as a standing health and wellness appointment with yourself. If you can't find an uninterrupted hour each day to exercise, break it up into chunks throughout the day – two half-hour sessions, or three 20-minute mini-activities; the minutes add up, and the benefits are just as good.

You'll keep things interesting if you track your progress, whether with a check mark on your calendar or a detailed log in a journal or laptop. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a day. However, if you seem to be missing, rather than moving, more days than not, it may be time to reassess. Is your routine not holding your interest? Maybe you committed to a gym when you really prefer to be outdoors. Or perhaps you'll stay on track if you find an exercise buddy, rather than exercising solo. You can change it up without having to give up.

May is a great time to enjoy getting moving again.