Finding Proper Fitness Facility
The first step is finding a good Personal Trainer or a proper Fitness Facility. If you will be workingout at your place you can get some of these equipments like exercise bands, ropes, balance balls, free weights, kettlebells etc. Hire a Professional Certified Personal Trainer to guide you through the exercise program. A trainer will ensure you a well planned workout suitable to your needs and medical conditions and help you achieve your goals safely. He will keep records of your progress, give motivation and incorporate variations in your exercise regime from time to time.
Here are listed some points to keep in mind when you are looking for a good fitness facility.
Near the locality of your house or your work place.  You will tend to be irregular if you are required to travel a long distance to a gym for exercise.
Sufficient qualified staff. Some facilities just have one or two employees (Generally fitness trainers) who look into all the aspects from management, nutrition, medical etc. Thus their attention is divided and they cannot fully concentrate on your training.  You should see whether the gym has the minimum staff of a Qualified Nutritionist, visiting Doctor and Certified Professional Trainers.
Proper Equipment. You don’t need fancy equipments for serious weight training. See if the Gym has plenty of free weights.  Look for squat cages, dumbbells, bench press racks for weight training and treadmills for cardio workout. Ensure the equipments are properly maintained and are in proper working conditions for safety.
• Proper Hygiene. The place where you exercise should be clean and should have appropriate ventilation.

Getting Medical Clearance to Exercise
Health screening is the important step for starting any Exercise program.  You will need to take Doctor’s advice before you become more physically active if you answer YES to any of the following questions. Tell your doctor your plan to exercise and to which questions you answer yes.

• Has a physician ever diagnosed you with a heart condition and indicated you should restrict your physical activity?
• When you perform physical activity, do you feel pain in your chest?
• When you were not engaging in physical activity, have you experienced chest pain in the past month?
• Do you ever faint or get dizzy and lose you balance?
• Do you have an injury or orthopedic condition (such as a back, hip, or knee problem) that may worsen due to a change in your physical activity?
• Do you have high blood pressure or a heart condition in which a physician is currently prescribing a medication?
• Are you pregnant?
• Do you have insulin dependent diabetes?
• Are you 55 years of age or older and not used to being very active?
• Do you know of any other reason you should not exercise or increase your physical activity?
If you honestly answered NO to all questions you can be reasonably certain you can safely increase your level of physical activity gradually.
If during the program your health changes so you then answer yes to any of the above questions, seek guidance from a physician.

Proper Apparel
Wear Comfortable clothing which will not restrict exercise form and range of motion. The clothes should be suitable to the environment.  You should wear sensible, porous, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing while exercising in heat. Wear layered clothing in a cold climate. You can remove top layer of clothes after warming up or as required. Your shoes should have proper ankle and lateral support and good shock absorbers.

Set achievable, realistic and focused goals.
Set realistic goals so that they are attainable. You may want to reduce weight, build strength, and increase endurance or to enhance specific sport performance. Setting both short term and long term goals may be helpful. If your long term goal is to loose 20-25 kg weight in a year, set first short term goal like ‘I want to reduce 10 Kg in 4months’. Your goal should be realistic or else if it is not achieved you will be frustrated. Attainable goals will help ensure your success.  If you don’t have a specific goal you will find it is difficult to continue with the program and track your progress to see how far you have come. Finally, remember to reward yourself once you have achieved short term goal and then set new ones.

Generating Alternatives
This step involves investigating all possible alternatives for reaching your goal. Choose an exercise program that you enjoy. If you choose the exercise which you dislike, you will dread your exercise session and thus you will not be regular or will discontinue it soon. So if you hate running’ don’t run! Instead you can go for a swim or play certain sport to improve your cardiovascular fitness. Depending upon your interest, available equipments and time, your personal trainer will help you in selecting right mode of exercise. In order to address all aspects of good health you need to incorporate cardiovascular endurance, strength training, flexibility and nutrition. By incorporating different types of exercise and including lots of variety in your program, you will also be ‘Cross Training’, a proven way to beat boredom and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.

Include Exercise in your Daily Routine
Our lives have become so hectic that we rarely have any extra time left.  Exercise can be pushed to a low priority when we become busy.  You must learn to manage your time more wisely, making exercise a top priority. Analyze your current schedule and find places where you can insert an exercise session.  Many people find exercising in the morning to be a good way to help them stick with their exercise programs, but those who can’t take out time in morning can exercise anytime later. The most important is that you should exercise on regular basis.

Fitness Evaluation
It helps to gather information related to your current level of physical fitness. A comprehensive assessment measures the following four components of fitness:
• Cardiorespiratory efficiency
• Muscular strength and endurance
• Muscle and joint flexibility
• Body composition
It is possible to measure level of fitness in each of these areas of optimum fitness using a variety of fitness tests.  Fitness testing will help to establish a baseline against which improvements can be measured over time.  It will also help your trainer determine the intensity at which you will workout. Fitness testing can be done in a controlled laboratory environment, which usually is very expensive. It can be done with less sophisticated equipment by your personal trainer. Some of them are:
• 1.5 mile Walk/run test (for testing aerobic capacity)
• Flexibility tests for shoulder girdle, pelvic girdle, low back
• 1 RM tests for strength testing
• Skin fold calipers, fat monitors, circumference measurements for estimating body composition

Don’t over exercise or under eat
So many new exercisers make the mistake of thinking, “If a little exercise is good, more must be better.”  Even worse is the thinking, “If eating less makes me lose weight, eating even less will make me lose weight even faster.”  Both of these ideas set you up for failure and possible injury and illness.  Over exercising or over training can create overuse injuries such as pulled muscles, shin splints, and knee, foot and back problems.  Under eating is just as dangerous, resulting in low energy, chronic sickness, slowing of your metabolism and increased risk of injury.  Even occasional bouts of self-imposed starvation (DIETS), or bingeing and purging can lead to serious eating disorders.

Be patient
Changing your physical health takes time.  Anyone or anything that promises “quick, guaranteed results” is not telling the whole truth, and does not have your best interests at heart.  They are only out to make money at your expense.  Depending on your initial fitness level, creating positive changes in your health can take months, sometimes up to a year.  This is not to be pessimistic – It’s the truth.

Manasi Joshi

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