Starting a Fitness Program

Shawna Ruth

Starting a fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight,  improve your sleep habits, and self-esteem. There is even better news, you can start today!


Evaluating and recording baseline fitness scores can give you starting points against which to measure your progress. This can be done via an app, journal or tracker. To start, you can  begin by measuring your running times, pulse and even your flexibility.


A second step into delving into a workout routine is establishing a plan. When starting it is crucial to keep in mind your fitness goals. What do you want to accomplish? Is it gaining muscle or losing weight? Having goals can provide direction to your routine. Understand that progress is not immediate and that each day just heading to the gym is a win. Allow yourself to recover. Know that we all start somewhere and consider it a starting point. 


Next, assemble equipment. This is the best part.  Pick up some new sneakers, clothes and accessories. If you are planning to invest in equipment choose something that is practical, comfortable, and most importantly affordable. Also consider tracking everyday exercise in a journal, app or smartwatch.


You are ready to start! As you start your fitness plan, keep in mind that you should start off slow and build gradually weather that is weight, distance or flexibility. Be creative! Create your workout plan based on your fitness goals. Whether that is yoga, weight training, running or pilates, choose something that makes you feel good! Lastly, listen to your body. It is easy to get in the rhythm and escalate quickly. Take a moment to breath and relax. 


To gain a new perspective here is advice from a yoga instructor from Clearwater Florida Lorraine DeSalvo, ¨ Starting a fitness plan doesn have to be overwhelming. Starting out I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself. Simply put I just made small lifestyle changes throughout my journey. For example, instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs, ride your bike instead of driving your car, eat in moderation and treat yourself and every once for a while. You deserve it!¨ She also stated that her confidence has increased tremendously.


After working out for around six weeks it is important to track your progress. You may realize that you need to workout more or less or be happy with the progress you have made. If motivation is a problem try setting new goals or make a playlist of feel good songs to get you moving. Starting an exercise routine is an important decision. But, not an overwhelming one. By starting small and pacing yourself, you will develop healthy habits and healthy lifestyle.