Where do I go to start a fitness program?

That all depends. What type of fitness activity has caught your eye recently? Do you want to workout with friends, or will you be okay doing it by yourself? What type of location suits you best, or would you prefer working out at home? Answering these questions and possibly consulting a fitness professional can help you determine a fun and safe starting point to a fitness program.

There are many types of fitness programs available ranging from self-serve models to attending a health club, gym, or community center. Depending on what how much help you need in identifying your goals and matching up specific programs that will help you accomplish those goals can influence your choice in where to the program right for you. You can get programs online and on DVD that allow you to select and implement a program that you feel is right for you.  There are also various programs offered through health and fitness facilities and fitness professionals. To find a facility or professional in your area look at the Sharecare Trainer Network to identify someone who can help you identify the program that will work best for your goals.

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
I recommend joining the Dr. Oz 11 week Move it and Lose it Challenge
There are many choices out there to pick from.  In order to stick with the program you need to find something that you like and will enjoy.  Check out your local workout facilities and see what they have to offer.  See if there are classes you might be interested in or meet with a qualified personal trainer who can set you up with some excellent exercises.  Determine what you want to accomplish, what type of atmosphere you prefer.  Home based, group based or one on one with a personal trainer--its all a step in the right direction.
Kathy Shain

Close to your home or work place would be a great place to start looking. If you have to go too far out of your way, you are less likely to stick with your program. Try stopping at local health clubs and park districts and see what each has to offer. You will need a program that offers some personal training sessions to get started on the right foot. If you do not get some guidance from a fitness pro, you may end up getting hurt and/or not reaching your goals.

Knowing where to start can be the toughest job when making the decision to take better care of yourself. Even if you are a health nut, knowing what you could do to be healthier – or what new goal to set next – can be a real problem. When making fitness goals, most people are simply not realistic. Most underestimate their physical capabilities and overestimate what they are willing to do to reach their goals.

Goals should:

-be specific

-be attainable

-be somewhat enjoyable

-fit into your daily lifestyle

-be measureable and recorded

     You can’t just say, “I want to be healthy,” show up at the gym, and expect to know what to do. You must have a plan. By being specific (“I want to run the St. Patty’s Day 5K race in March”), you can actually design a program, or have a fitness professional design a program, that will help you reach your goal.

Be realistic, if you are 100 pounds overweight and want to run the 5K in a month, this goal would probably not be attainable. By setting attainable, realistic goals you increase your chances of success. Actually running the 5K race allows you to measure and record reaching your goal. If you would rather eat nails than run, understand that the training required to run a 5K would neither be enjoyable nor fit your daily lifestyle. There are so many great ways to exercise it is unnecessary to choose activities you dislike doing.

     First, you need to choose where you like to exercise. Whether it is at home, a gym, outside, or a combination of places, the location may limit your choices when designing your program. If you are having difficulty, meet with a personal trainer, they can help you decide a course of action and assist you in getting started on the right path for you.
Right here! choose an HFPN coach to work with and get going. We are highly equipped at helping you with science, logistics, and motivation! You may contact me directly and I would be glad to help you.
Location location location.Lets face it convienance is very much of importance to us. You can start at home if you don't want to go to gyms with minimal equipment. You can start by getting the right assesments and reach your goals through online training that sharecare provides. You can check out gyms that are in close proximity to your job or home. The most impotant decision to make is choosing what fits into your busy schedule and sticking to it.

This is a question of personal choice. While you are considering where to go to start a fitness program ask yourself a few of the following questions and write down the answers.

What exercise/fitness activities do you enjoy?

Where can you do them and feel comfortable/motivated with the atmosphere?

What is your present state of health and fitness? Are you capable of these activities right now?  How do you feel about yourself right now?

Will you be comfortable in a healthclub/gym atmosphere? And the people therein? Would it be better to start at home? Create an in-home gym space?

Perhaps you are better off outdoors?

Bottom line, consistency, education, empowerment and success are some of the keys to a successful fitness program. So ask yourself where you feel you will get all of them. Once you answer these questions a solution should present itself.

The first thing to ask yourself is "What are my fitness goals?"  Once you have determined what you are trying to accomplish, it will make the selection process easier.  There are an endless supply of health clubs and most offer personal trainers who are more than willing to provide service (if you are a 'go to the gym' type person).  There are also at-home video programs easily found on the internet, and online personal trainer opportunities--HFPN is my favorite.  Hope this helps. 

Stopping by a reputable gym in your neighborhood and making an appointment with a certified fitness professional would be your first step. The fitness expert there can help you with your goals and guide you on the correct path to achieving them. With the proper education and structure from a personal trainer and or fitness expert, you can get what is needed to start your fitness program and build the new you.


The most effective way to start a fitness program is to meet with a fitness professional in person or utilize websites such as Sharecare to get set up with a fitness professional online.

  • With your trainer, you will first discuss goals and timeline to success, potential barriers to success, and motivation for starting a fitness program. 
  • Next, you will go through a series of movement, fitness, and nutritional assessments to determine the most appropriate starting place for you.
  • Your trainer will develop an individualized fitness and nutritional program for 1-3 months and track your progress.
  • He or she will teach you proper technique, exercise variables (sets, reps, rest, etc.) and explain each part of your program.
  • You and your trainer will re-assess your progress monthly to make sure you stay on the right track.
  • You will be given written out resistance, cardio, and nutritional programs with accompanying educational materials so you can learn about your body as you strive to meet your goals.
  • Personal Training is the MOST EFFECTIVE way to achieve your goals, reduce the confusion over what is best for your body.
Start by choosing an activity that you enjoy, this will keep you motivated and excited about your fitness routine. Then start slowly. For instance, when starting you strength training, determine your beginning weights, then each week increase your repetitions. This prepares your ligaments and tendons for the heavier weights to come. For you cardio training, you can get the same benefit from 3 - 10 minute sets as from walking for 30 minutes straight, so start with 10 minutes, if that is too easy slowly increase your time, speed or incline. Give your body time to adapt to exercise to prevent injury.

The first thing you may want to do is to see your doctor before you start your program. Your best bet would be to go to your local health club, fitness center or community center. Talk to a fitness professional to get you started on the right foot.

While gyms like 24-hr Fitness and Lifetime are excellent facilities and offer great selections of equipment and classes they are not necessary to start a quality fitness program. With proper instruction you can start a fitness program in the comfort of your own home with basic and inexpensive equipment (ex. light dumbbells, resistance bands, medicine balls) or using items found around the home such as water jugs. All that is needed to start a fitness program is a good attitude and the desire to improve your health. The only thing you have to decide is what environment you enjoy most.

Look no further than where you are now. Sharecare has a great program in place surrounded by elite trainers that will help you in your quest.... and it's all free. Can't beat that!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.