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Are there any secrets to getting started with a fitness program?

The secret is there are no secrets. Attitude will be critical to overall success. Much like anything in life, positive attitude goes a long way in setting yourself up for success. Sharecare has eliminated most of the excuses, the rest is up to you.

There are no "secrets" to getting started with a fitness program. Starting a fitness program takes both time and effort, yet, with the proper planning, most people can begin a fitness program that leads to success. Before starting any type of fitness program, be sure to seek clearance from your doctor first. Once cleared for physical activity, determine a goal. Use a blank piece of paper to write down your goal and leave space for the rest of your fitness plan. Ask yourself why you want to start a fitness program. Make sure your goal is specific, challenging, and realistic. You may need to start with a smaller goal that will allow you to see results in less time. The goal should be measurable in order to encourage progress, and it should be a goal that can be attained within a set amount of time. Next, assess you fitness level by establishing a few benchmarks by which you will measure your progress. The following are a few examples of assessments that are measurable:

• body weight;

• circumference measurements;

• body mass index (BMI);

• number of repetitions you can perform during a set amount of time;

• length of time it takes to walk a certain distance.

Once you have performed a few assessments, write down the results. Design your fitness program based on your goals and the results from your assessments. Plan to progress your activity accordingly. If you are a beginner, then plan on progressing exercises slowly. This will help avoid injury. Also, schedule the times you will exercise and treat it as an appointment. Include different types of activity in order to avoid boredom. Most importantly, plan time in between your exercise sessions to allow for your body to recover. Next, make sure you have all the necessary equipment for your program. Do need a new pair of athletic shoes? Do you need to invest in exercise equipment? Do you need a gym membership? Finally, be sure to monitor your progress. Schedule a date within the next three to six weeks to repeat your assessments and decide whether or not you need to modify your program.

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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.