Laker Help Link
Starting an Exercise Program
Starting a new exercise program can be easier than you think.
- First, see your family doctor before starting any new exercise program or significantly increasing your activity level to determine your risk of injury or potential health problems.
- Decide if you have any emotional barriers or stressors that could interfere with your commitment to beginning a new exercise program such as anxiety over school or relationships, etc.
- Find several "pockets" of time in your day to add physical activity; this adds flexibility and options in terms of fitting exercise in.
- Select a variety of recreational activities and exercises; stretching and walking are always good choices for beginners.
- Start at an intensity level that feels comfortable to you. The old adage of "no pain, no gain" is out; this attitude often results in an injury or quitting after two weeks.
- Be sure to have the right type of exercise clothes, socks, and shoes for the activities you choose.
- Focus on GRADUALLY increasing time, distance or intensity (only one variable at a time) by no more than 10% per week (Ex. If you are walking 10 minutes this week, increase to 11 minutes next week, NOT 20 minutes).
- Knowledge is power so check out the web, buy a book, take a class, or stop by the Campus Wellness Center for information and help with technical skills related to performing exercises.
- Set a SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and tangible) that focuses on changing a behavior not an outcome (Ex. Increase your daily activity level).
- Track your progress by keeping an exercise log, or taking your body measurement or a picture of yourself every 8-10 weeks.
For more information:
GVSU Fitness & Wellness Center
To learn about Personal Exercise Programs - which are offered through the Fitness & Wellness Center and designed FREE of charge to GVSU students, faculty, and staff - click here for a brochure.
Page last modified September 14, 2010