Picking the Right Exercise Program for You!

01.03.2012 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness

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By Becky Johnson, Certified Personal Trainer

It’s a new year and a new beginning, and I love new beginnings because anything is possible. There are no limits and no boundaries and no reason you shouldn’t do whatever it is that you want to do. Your attitude is the only thing that can get in the way!

We are going to start fresh this New Year. What do you want to get out of your exercise program? The answer to that question defines what kind of program will work best for you in the long run.

Ask yourself: "What do I want to accomplish?” Do you want to lose weight? Get in shape and stay in shape? Maybe you’d like to reduce some stress in your life. Or perhaps, you’re serious about improving your overall health or increasing your muscular strength. The good news is that every one of those goals can be accomplished. Each one can be the start of a fun exercise program you can enjoy and from which you can benefit.

Is Your Goal Weight Control? Then start with low-impact or non-impact aerobic activity and work your way up to at least 30 minutes almost every day.

Is Your Goal To Strength Your Muscles? There are plenty of strength-conditioning programs that include the use of free weights, weight machines, exercise bands or body weight exercises.

Is Your Goal To Improve Flexibility? You could try yoga or a simple stretching routine that covers all your major muscle groups.

Before you jump in to an exercise program, check with your doctor, especially if you’re a woman over the age of 55 or have any health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, a family history of heart disease or even if you smoke. It’s a good idea to have your physician give the “ok” before you start an exercise program.

Where’s the best place to exercise? What’s better, your home or a health club? Actually, one place isn’t better than the other. The choice really comes down to where you will be most comfortable and best able to accomplish your exercise goals. Here are some things to consider when you’re making your decision:

Home Exercise Economics

Exercising at home can be more economical than exercising at a health club. Invest in a good pair of running or walking shoes, some dumbbells and an exercise mat, and you’re ready to go. For some people, the best part of home exercise is privacy. If you’re the kind of person who can stick with an exercise program alone at home- then that’s your answer. But, if you do better with the stimulation of others or if you enjoy being with a group of people who share your interests, then consider a full-service club.

More Equipment and Professional Guidance at a Club

For some people, a health club or fitness club works a lot better than home. Clubs have a variety of exercise options, professional fitness instructors to keep you working in the right direction and other people who share a common interest. One of the nicest things about a club is that you can work it into your schedule. Go early in the morning before work or stop off on your way home. The only drawback could be the cost of the membership. Some health insurance plans offer a discount of health club memberships. Sometimes your company can get a special reduced membership if a certain number of employees join. You’ll have to weigh the expense with what you can afford and what you want to accomplish.

A Workday Routine

There is still another direction you can go, and that’s to get together with coworkers during lunch to walk or jog. Many people have a good chance of sticking with a regularly scheduled lunchtime exercise program. You just might be one of them.

Deciding where to exercise comes down to picking the place that offers you the greatest comfort, works best with your lifestyle and will allow you to achieve your fitness goals.

Happy New Year!

Stay Healthy and Fit,

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