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Starting an exercise program

Starting an exercise program can sound like an easy thing to do but yet many people fail to and stop the program before they even reach or achieve their fitness goals. Many people do not even know what their main goal to begin with let alone know the current recommendations or exercise guidelines for healthy adults under the age of 65 with no apparent chronic disease or condition.

The main goal on an exercise program should be to boost one’s health and fitness level by meeting the basic physical activity.

According to The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG)

For substantial health benefits according to the recommendations adults needs to do at least:

  • moderate-intensity aerobic activity


  • 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) each week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity


  • An equivalent mix of moderate and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity


  • Muscle strengthening activities 2 or more times a week

Most people starts an exercise program because they were told by their doctor to exercise (medical reason); or because of personal, financial, or social reasons, or because exercise makes them feel good. However, majority of the people who started an exercise program never completed any program. They fell of the wagon for various reasons; too complicated, not enough time, too expensive. Most people completely stop exercising because they got hurt or injured.

The phrase “no pain, no gain” should be avoided when it comes to exercise, health and fitness. Pain is an undesirable sensation and it can take days even weeks to fully recover from the pain that you thought was insignificant. Usually pain is and can be a delayed response this and can take a few days before it manifest or for you feel something is wrong. Sometimes the body can take repeated abuse before your start to feel the pain. Where is the “gain” when you have to be off your feet for days or even weeks?

Most people doesn’t even know where to begin or what to do, majority of the people who goes to a gym imitates/copy/follow others people. An exercise program should be design specifically just for you. Seeking advice from a professional is a way to go. However personal trainer can cost you a lot of money and for the most part people cannot afford to have a trainer.

Before starting an exercise program one should;

1. If you have medical conditions and taking certain medications, this can and will affect how you should exercise/workout. You should seek medical advice from your doctor before engaging in any exercise program. Your doctor can tell you what you can and cannot do (set limitations due to your medical condition).

2. Complete a Health and Fitness Assessment usually offered by a personal trainer or fitness facility. This will give you an idea how fit you really are and what your body can do. As you gain strength you will need to continue to challenge your body in order for your body to get stronger and healthier. Doing the same thing over and over again becomes boring and your muscle retains the movement and learns to adapt. Eventually you plateau and there’s no longer progress.

Once you have accomplished those two things then you are ready to start your program.

1. Set a fitness goal and develop a plan to achieve your goal. Having a goal and a plan gives you a clear cut idea when and what you need to accomplish. Start by having a sub goal within a goal. Starting a program without a goal or a plan in mind is setting you to fail. Once you have established your goal, set a plan on how to measure your goal this will keep you focus and help you stay on track with your program.

2. Set aside time each day to exercise. Getting started can be the most difficult time in starting an exercise program. Schedule exercise activities in your daily routines and make this a priority. Not having this scheduled in your activity can get you off track and put it off for later days.

3. Choose a cardiovascular activity that you enjoy. This can be swimming; running/jogging; biking; dancing; etc…this will keep you motivated especially if it is something that you’ve enjoyed in the past. Physical activity can be an accumulation of variety of activities not just walking or running.

4. Start with 10 to 15 minutes of activity at a time and gradually increase as you get stronger and fitter. You do not need to start all out at once. Taking little steps will greatly reduce the risk of injuring yourself. As you get stronger and fitter gradually increase your time to build endurance.

5. Get a partner. Having someone with you who enjoy the same thing that you enjoy can be a great motivation. You can monitor and encourage each other. This will make you accountable to continue with the program.

6. Reward yourself for achieving your goal. Achieving a goal is an accomplishment by rewarding yourself when you achieve your goal gives you an incentive and motivation to keep on going. Never punished yourself if you had set backs, look at it as an educational tool to help and analyzed what you can do to make plan work. Remember exercise plateaus and muscle memory can set you back. Changing your routines on a regular basis can help you prevent any setbacks.

Success does not happen overnight. Progress does not guarantee result after one or two sessions. It will take time. Reaching your fitness goals will depend on you how much effort you are willing to put into it. How much time, patience, perseverance, sacrifices, compromises, commitments and dedications you put into the program will be the key to your success in achieving your fitness goals. Everyone has a potential it is up to the individual to make it happen.


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