1. “The first step is often the biggest step”

Change is difficult. Knowing how to make a change in your life is often elusive.  Often we think we know how to make a change, find out relatively quickly in the process that it was not the right way to do it and quit.  Unfortunately, because we get discouraged we never try to make the change again.

With respect to physical activity and specifically exercise programs we see this pattern all too often.  We have all heard people say,” I joined a gym but never used my membership”, or “I went to an aerobic class and it almost killed me”.  Not knowing what facility to join and not knowing what exercise programs to start with are two of the biggest reason why people fail to make physical activity a regular and essential part of their lives.

The following is a list of helpful tips to help you make educated choices when it
comes to starting a physical exercise program. Remember, it is all about improving your health and quality of life so it is important to start the right way.

“Success is in the Doing.”

    1. Get a check-up.  Meet with your doctor and get a medical clearance to begin an exercise program.  Your Doctor will identify any special modification needed for you to start.
    2. Identify your preferences. Would you prefer to work out in a large busy gym or a more personalized boutique gym.  Would you like more personalized attention such a one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer or participate in group classes.
    3. Start slowly. Many people are eager to get started and overdo it, which usually makes them sore so they stop. A fitness assessment by a personal trainer will determine a baseline with which to start your exercise program.
    4. Make a date. It is hard to make changes in your life on your own. Find a reliable buddy to exercise with. A personal trainer fulfills this role well. They not only provide fitness/exercise expertise but also act as your personal motivator, coach and mentor.
    5. Set specific short and long term goals. Make your goals a priority and as specific as possible. For example- “I will exercise three times a week immediately when I get home after work and before supper. I will also walk for an hour on Saturday and Sunday before noon”.
    6. Make a list – List the benefits you expect from your physical activity program. These benefits must be realistic and reasonable. Build your list of benefits as you increase your physical activity. You will be surprised how long your list will become.
    7. Check out the facility you want to join. Does it feel friendly? Is it convenient to get to?  Is there plenty of parking? Is there additional cost to park. Is the staff friendly and interested in you and your goals? Are they certified to deliver the programs you want?
    8. Make it a priority. Are you willing to leave something else behind to add exercise to your schedule. What are you willing to give up to make room for exercise and an improvement in your health.  Bad habits? Non-productive activities?
    9. Create a support network. Tell friends and family about your new goals and ask for their support and encouragement.
    10. Identify barriers that may hinder you from accomplishing your fitness goals. Try to come up with solutions to these obstacles.
    11. Keep a journal. Record your activity level and activities that have become easier to do in your everyday life as you exercise on a regular basis.
    12. Reward yourself. Once you have reached your goal, treat yourself to something that reminds you what a good job you have done and encourages you to continue.

If you’d like more info please contact Mike.