Freeman Medical Musings Blog

Starting an Exercise Program

Posted by Kris Drake, RN, CHPD, on May 23, 2014

On the wall in my office, there is a photo of a woman running across the desert. The word DETERMINATION is written at the top, and the quote below reads: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” - Lao Tzu. Although these words shared by Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher and poet, were spoken many years ago, the message still rings true.

The thought of beginning an exercise program may still seem unreachable in today’s busy world. However, please know that getting back to the gym or beginning an exercise routine doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Remember to start slowly – begin with a single step.

If you are ready to start a physical activity program, here are some strategies to help you get moving!

Set specific, manageable goals. You don’t have to begin by running a mile. Instead, you could try going for a walk on your lunch break each day for 20 minutes.

Tell someone about your goals. Your loved ones can help motivate you and help you hold yourself accountable for sticking to your plan. If you have a friend or family member who also wants to get healthy, invite him or her to exercise with you.

Switch it up. To keep boredom at bay, try multiple types of exercise. One day, go for a bike ride – the next time, try swimming.

Reward yourself, but not with food. Once you’ve reached a goal, reward yourself – you’ve earned it! Because rewarding yourself with food can derail your healthy momentum, instead, treat yourself to a nonfood item such as new clothes or a massage once you’ve reached your goal.