Beginning an exercise program

Beginning an exercise program can be at times very overwhelming and challenging! Thousands of questions can arise and you may feel it is too much of an effort or that it is beyond your capacity. Here, I have tried to simplify the process of embarking on a new exercise program.

The first step is to make up your mind. Decide that you want to do it and that you can do it easily. Once that is done, visualize yourself exercising regularly and getting the desired result from your exercise program. Do this visualization regularly and often during the day. It will create the same feeling in your body as actually exercising and motivate you.

Before you get started, check with your doctor to make sure you don’t have any health or medical problems. If you are suffering from an illness or condition, do get a fitness certificate from your treating physician. Make sure that your exercise routine does not have any harmful effects on your condition. Consult a certified fitness trainer before you begin your program.

Now, begin as you would begin any project or business. Take a paper and pen and write down a plan. The plan should be SMART.

Put down on paper the following to set up a good solid routine:

Set your goals
The goals should be specific so that you can chart out the steps to be taken. Specify what exactly you are looking for – is it weight loss or toning of the body; or is it developing a muscular physique? The reason for this is that the kind of routine will vary depending on what you are looking for. Specific exercises for the specific goal will be suggested by the fitness trainer.

Set a timeframe for your goals
Unless you set a time frame you will not achieve your goals. For example if I ask you to read a book at your convenience it might take you months to read it and if I were to ask you to read it in 3 days, you would read it in three days. Quite simple, is it not? Well, practice it.

Figure out how to meet your goals
For this you will need the help of your fitness trainer and family physician. Set short goals and prepare a program for the first short goals. This will help you to take small and sure steps towards your goal. Make sure to include all kinds of exercises such as yoga and breathing exercises, etc. Also ensure that you do not over do it!

Structure your program

This means that the program you plan should have a specific routine and the timing should be more or less maintained. This will give you optimum results as the body will be primed at given times to do exercises. Structuring also reduces the chances of slipping out of the program.

Maintain your program
Well begun is half done; true, but maintaining is equally important if not more! The stress should be on consistency rather than intensity. This will give you optimum results. There might come times when you will slip out of the regimen and miss out on the program. No problem. The important thing is to take a short break and begin again.

Make sure that you get regular days off otherwise your chances of maintaining the program will be hampered. As I said earlier, do not overdo the fitness regimen. Neither in time nor in intensity! Make sure to do it in moderation.

Along with the exercise routine there are some other things that you will need to take care of, to get the best results out of your efforts.

Get nutritional advice and start a healthy diet plan along with your fitness program. This will help you reach your goal faster and more decidedly.

Make these permanent positive changes in your lifestyle – avoid late nights, get 8 hours of sleep and maintain a fit and healthy mind and body. Sleep is the time when your body rests, recuperates and heals itself.

Avoid alcohol, smoking and non-prescribed drugs. These are extremely harmful for your body and their ill-effects are universally known. Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises will help you stay away from these things.

I wish you well in your journey towards fitness, health and wellness.

Mickey Mehta. The author is India’s Leading Holistic Health Guru

Also read:

More by this author