Exercise – 5 Tips on How to Start and Stick with the Program

I decided that I was going to start working out to lose weight, be heart healthy and for stress relief. That was in January, and it is now June. The point is, it is hard to get started. Research shows that if you start an exercise routine by 4 weeks you will have created a habit and make it much easier to stick with.

No matter what you choose to do, the key is to do something. Get your heart rate up. Doing 10 minute intervals throughout the day will bring you and your body positive results. I am 45 years old, and I can say the only thing I have been consistent with is the “on and off” program.

Here are 5 tips to help you get started with a program. Please make sure you speak with your doctor before starting a new program, and, if at any time you feel dizzy, chest pain or shortness of breath, stop what you are doing and call 911.

  1. Set realistic and manageable goals. For example, I started a 10 minute cardio program 5 days a week and now I have been doing a 20 minute program 5 days a week.
  2. Do not use food as a reward. I tend to think that after a great work out an ice cream treat would be nice, but do not sabotage your plan.
  3. Find a workout buddy. Having a buddy to workout with, will help keep the motivation going.
  4. Do your best and forget the rest. Beating yourself up for not being perfect will lead you to defeat.
  5. Be creative. Variety is always the spice of life.

Happy Exercising!


Submitted by Renne Pfister, RN, Chest Pain Center Coordinator at Franciscan St. Margaret Health.

The Chest Pain Centers at both Franciscan St. Margaret Health’s Hammond and Dyer campuses were the first accredited centers in Northwest Indiana and only two of 27 in the state. Accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers means that you can be confident that our Emergency and Cardiac departments have the right specialists, processes and equipment in place to provide the highest level of care for patients experiencing chest pain.

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