How to Choose a Fitness Program

When you want to use exercise to reduce the residue of stress you feel in your body how do you choose a fitness program? I personally get most of my fitness from walking, hiking, swimming and chasing after my children but after a workshop participant asked me how they would go about choosing a fitness program I gave it some extra thought. Today I offer you these ideas just in case you have the same question or you know someone with this question.

How to Choose a Fitness Program by David Hennessey

Step One Find Your Baseline

Make an appointment with your Health Care Practitioner and get your fitness level assessed. I am not an expert on Body Mass Index and measurements like that but I do know it is important to get professional assistance to see where you are at when you start so you know where you are moving from. As a result you will better able to see your fitness successes. A personal assessment is also important so you get advice on what is appropriate for you to do physically based on your current fitness level.

Step Two Write Down Your Goals

I am a great believer in the effectiveness of writing down your goals for anything you want to achieve. When you make your goals you know where you want to move to from your baseline. Decide what you want and by when you want to achieve this goal.

Step Three Know what you like

It is great to have a friend to work on your fitness with but I must warn you don’t fall into the trap of choosing a fitness program because it is the same as a friends. Unless it is an activity you really do like. Why? Because you will get bored quickly and lose motivation and then most likely stop. You need to find an activity that you enjoy and you don’t see it as just ‘my fitness program’. For example, if you love to run but don’t think you would like to do so alone join with a group who play a running sport like soccer, or rugby or…If you like to listen to music and move join a dance class or just go dancing. The key is to have fun and the fitness will arrive.

Step Four Get Warm and Stay Loose

Make an important part of your fitness program the time to warm up your body. Once warmed up stretch carefully before and after the activity. Remember when you choose your activity consult with a personal trainer (perhaps at our local recreation center) to find out the best stretches for the activity of your choice.  Remember most activities that involve movement including Yoga have a warm up built in when it is properly taught. Yes, I even do some gentle stretching before I head off into the hills with my pack.

Step Five Change Your Activity

Make sure you have a selection of activities you like to engage in to help nourish many areas of your physical wellness. Variety will also help you avoid being coming bored with doing the same activity.

Step Six Be in Your Budget

Some people like to go to a professional gym because they like the social atmosphere or the access to various equipment but they have to stop after a few months because they cannot afford the cost of membership. Make sure that you choose an activity you have the money to support what you are going to do and that the need for equipment will not prevent you from continuing on your path to greater health.

Step Seven Feel the Air

If you choose a physical activity that does not involve you being outside make sure you also take time to walk outside in the fresh air each day. There is, I believe, always more oxygen outside than inside and our bodies need the O2 daily.

Step Eight  Take Action!

Now you have some guidance I recommend you follow these steps and I trust you will enjoy a more relaxed and healthier life.

Note: If you do not have a water bottle to take along with you when you train you can learn about various stainless steel water bottle choices by clicking on this review link.

Optional Steps

To help you on your way I have a few simple tools that will be of value to you:

One tool will help you Simplify your Healthy Eating Habits – an important part of getting and remaining healthy – this is a practical easy to apply system. For details visit

The second tool is Mini Motivational Cards. Convenient and inexpensive cards that will help you on your way to mental and physical fitness. Details are here

And here is a third tool – If you want to eat organic food as part of your path to increased health and to lower the stress on your body and your budget check out this book of tips

Enjoy a great day,