How to Start an Exercise Program

Starting an exercise program begins right from where you presently are, even if that means you begin on the couch.

DFTNThe first step is to dream big.

Visualize how amazing you will feel with a healthy, fit and happy body! What does that look like for you?

Cut out photographs, make a collage, create a dream board… the more the better. The point is to really start living the dream of total fitness in your mind. Then you can move that vision into your body through the actions that evolve from your imagination.

You create your own dream, your why, and your purpose.

Starting an exercise program begins right from where you presently are, even if that means you begin on the couch. You want to make your dream a reality in your mind in order to create health and fitness in your life.

This dream becomes your north star, your road map to your destination.

Now you are ready to create your plan! Ask yourself what is the “who, what, where, when” of your plan.

Who will you work with? A DVD program, a trainer at the gym, an instructor-taught class, or maybe even working with a group of friends?

I highly recommend working with a qualified, skilled coach/trainer. A truly qualified coach possesses all of the knowledge, motivation and resources you will need to achieve your goal to complete fitness. They are not usually the trainers staffed at your local gyms, and so it might take a bit of looking to find the right wellness coach for you.

I recommend seeking out a CHEK Practitioner, in your area. This can be achieved by going online to, and looking under“find a Practitioner.”

What type of exercise makes you feel good: Pilates, yoga, weights, boot camps, martial arts, Zumba, boxing? You get to pick.

Where are you performing your fitness routine? Will you be working out at home, a gym, or a studio?

When is the best time of day for your workout?

Most importantly, you must remain focused on the big picture. Visualize how amazing you are going to feel with this newly created health and fitness.

Of course, it is important that you consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. But don’t worry. This can actually be fun! A good doctor will recommend a full exam that includes checking your weight, height (which you can then use to determine your BMI – body mass index), blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and fasting glucose levels. Your doctor can then discuss with you the option of slowly weaning you off any possible medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, ect.) It is always a good position to know where you are starting in your health program, so you can reassess how you are progressing along the way.

Start your exercise program at a low level. Don’t overdo it in the beginning because the body needs time to adjust. Your joints need to stabilize, and your muscles need to adapt to new movement patterns. In this way you will progress in a manner that proves safer and faster. This will allow you to progress through your exercise regime in a way that doesn’t cause pain, which could result in injuries that slow your progress.

It might also be helpful to have a support group of friends that are consistent and committed to making similar lifestyle changes. Even if you’re new in town, there is information to be found online that will direct you to a local group in your area.

Here is an important tip: don’t do diets!

Yes, they are everywhere. You cannot escape them on the television, radio or even online. Yes, they will most probably allow you to take the weight off in the beginning, but once you begin to stray or stop these programs, the weight most certainly will return, with a few more bonus pounds added.

The best way to eat is the most simple and effective way. Eat only real food that you prepare yourself. Ingest quality proteins, fruit, vegetables (grown mostly above ground), and quality fats from your proteins. Now this is general, and we have not discussed portion sizes, but you can go to my website and get all this information at

Becoming aware of what works for you will help you the most in achieving a healthy lifestyle. This includes understanding what food, exercise and healthy routines you are most receptive to. The more aware you become, the easier it is to get results without stumbling around trying everything out there.

In my first article, I spoke of the Six Fundamentals of Health: paradigms, breath, hydration, exercise, nutrition and sleep. Each one of these components is part and parcel to you creating the healthy, happy, vibrant body and life you desire.

Create the plan that works for you. What times in the day work best for you to exercise? How much time do you have? Set a schedule and make a calendar so you can check the days off.

Because of my schedule, exercise needs to be done first thing in the morning. If you have kids, this could also be the best time to exercise. Completing your workout before your family and the resulting demand on your time arise reduces conflict in the morning routine.

For your schedule, exercising might mean taking forty minutes during your lunch break to take a class, or exercising after work before you go home. You decide what works best for you. It may be a combination of the three.

When it comes to food, getting your shopping done all at once helps with time.

When I go shopping, I purchase most of the foods I need all at once. I also take advantage of my local farmers market. This provides me the opportunity to buy all of my vegetables for the week, and sometimes even all of my meats. I usually purchase a whole chicken, a few pieces of red meat, and a big piece of salmon. As soon as I get home I cook the meats. I decide whether to bake or grill a dish, or sometimes I will slow-cook the meat in a crockpot. I also cut about a two-quart Tupperware bowl full of mixed vegetables that will last me about five meals. Once the meats are cooked, they go into the refrigerator in separate Tupperware containers. Each night I prepare the following day’s meals and snacks along with making that night’s dinner.

I have a nice insulated food pack that I carry with me to work. This way I always have my food with me.

When it comes to water consumption throughout the day, it can be just like food. If you don’t have it with you, you won’t drink it. So go get yourself a liter bottle (or larger if you can find one), and make it a container that is fun for you. Choose one in your favorite color, or with a clever design. Do your best to drink water throughout the day. Most everyone should be drinking half their body weight in ounces every day.

Achieving total health really is all in the planning. So give yourself permission to sit down and figure out your plan before you start. Having most of it in place will go a long way in accomplishing your goals, and a lot less stress will be involved.

Go to and start reading through the blogs. Check out all the websites and articles on the Library media page. You’ll find everything from water to breathing right there!

I am always here to help and support you.

I wish for all of you Vibrant Health!

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