Joining an exercise program and setting goals - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Joining an exercise program and setting goals

Many people question whether paying for an exercise program is worth it or not. For the majority of people, the cost of investing in an exercise program is money well spent. The value of safe and effective exercise instruction and training from a qualified professional, motivation and support from other exercisers with similar interests and goals, and demonstrated results from consistent participation is worth it.

Before you start an exercise program you should consider the following.
  • Consult a healthcare professional and receive appropriate medical clearance prior to beginning a program. Especially if:
o You have been diagnosed with heart problems, high blood pressure or other medical conditions
o You have diabetes
o You've been sedentary for over a year
o You are over 65 and don't currently exercise
o You are pregnant
o You ever experience chest pains, dizziness or fainting spells
o You are recovering from an injury or illness
  • Commit to making exercise a part of your daily lifestyle. Consider these questions and consider your answers.
o What goals do you have with an exercise program?
You need a specific goal, whether it is to lose weight, build muscle, improve at a sport or just simply to get healthy. Without one, it will be difficult to keep exercising and to track your progress.
o Are your goals realistic and attainable?
It is helpful to know what you have to do before you get started. Many people are surprised at the daily effort it takes to reach their goals.
o When do you want to reach your goal?
Again, be realistic and set a reasonable time.
o Do you know how to reach your goal?
If not, spend some time researching reliable sources such as or consult a fitness professional.
o How will you reward yourself when you reach your goal?
Buy yourself something you've had your eye on or take a vacation. Once you've reached your goal, maintaining some sort of exercise program is still important.
Once you know what you are doing and how, you will need some strategies for sticking with it.
o Schedule your workouts
o Set small, weekly goals within your major goal
o Work out with family or friends for added motivation
o Keep a food and workout journal to stay on track and measure your progress.
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