Starting a fitness program

Published 10:36am Friday, February 17, 2012

In my last column we learned how “carb control” helps us get in better shape by reducing body fat levels. This week, let’s explore how to start a fitness program to further our progress.
First, there are several benefits to starting an exercise regimen. Being in better physical condition can help reduce your risk for heart disease, improve sleep patterns, help improve coordination and balance and, of course, improve your lean-to-fat ratio, while helping you lose body fat.
Before starting a fitness program, I recommend everyone check with their doctor, regardless of their age. It’s possible to have health conditions you may not be aware of. Remember, safety is even more important than progress.
Next comes the setting of your fitness goals. I recommend putting these goals in writing, so you get clear in your mind “why” you want to get in shape. Remember, as I’ve stated in past columns, the “why” is more important than the “how.”
After setting your goals, it’s time to put your program together. This is where personal trainers can be of real benefit. Even if you can’t train with one on a continuous basis, it’s still a good idea to have a consultation with one.
Be careful how you choose your trainer. I recommend either getting a referral from a friend, or just calling a trainer, and ask if you can watch them work. Make note of how well trainers interact with their clients. Also, watch to see if they implement the same exercise routine with each client. No two clients should be on the same program. The reason is that everyone is different, and we all have different needs. Also, clients deserve their own personalized program. Obviously, the personal trainer you choose should be well educated, and listen to your goals, and concerns.
If you don’t want to work with a personal trainer, there are exercise books, tapes and DVDs out there, but take care, and do your research . This will save you much time and grief in the long run.

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