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The last thing you want to be is a couch potato. If you're frustrated with your lack of energy and drive, and want to regain your youthful enthusiasm, it's easier than you think. Here's how:
STEP 1: Decide that you will make the commitment to include exercise into your life.
STEP 2: If you are male and over the age of 40, if you are female and over the age of 50, if you have two or more risk factors for disease, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition, see your physician before starting an exercise program.
STEP 3: Set realistic goals. The first goal should be to feel better. Remember that programs that aim at quick weight loss are difficult to maintain, and usually result in failure.
STEP 4: Share your desire to improve your fitness level with your family or significant other. This is a great way to get them to help support and motivate you.
STEP 5: Pick an activity that you think you will enjoy. Research shows that you will adhere to your workout plan if you enjoy what you are doing. Most people choose walking because it is inexpensive, and easy to do.
STEP 6: Keep your workouts to under an hour. Research also shows that lengthy workout programs are hard to fit into your schedule and may not be continued.
STEP 7: Start slow and progress your program slowly. Feeling sore and tired after beginning aggressively will keep you from wanting to continue the program.
STEP 8: Work out with a friend. Exercise is more fun if it is a social event. Working out with another person can also be a form of motivation if you agree to encourage each other.
STEP 9: Change your workout activity frequently to keep you from becoming bored. This will also improve your chances to continue.
STEP 10: Add activity into your daily life. Walk instead of drive if possible, get outdoors and garden, wash your car, and play with your children or grand children. If you think about it, there are many other ways you can include activity into your usual schedule.
STEP 11: Seek the advice of an expert. If you are inexperienced in the area of exercise, most fitness facilities offer the services of fitness experts or personal trainers to help you get your program on course. Many of these individuals will come to your home to consult with you in private.
STEP 12: Don't be hard on yourself. Fitness is a journey, not a destination. Keep your eyes on your goal and you will continue to move forward and improve your health.
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