Get fit by following F.I.T.
So you know you have to start getting more active, but you don't know how to start.
Tate Wheeler, fitness director at The New Richmond Area Centre, suggests people use the acronym F.I.T. to start developing a plan.
The F.I.T. principle stands for "Frequency," "Intensity" and "Time."
When starting a new exercise routine, Wheeler said, it's best to start slow and work up.
"Getting started with anything is still better than nothing," he said.
Exercising or going to the gym twice a week at first would be a good start, he said. The goal would be to eventually build up to five days of exercise per week.
To succeed with one's new exercise plan, Wheeler said the key is develop a routine.
"Generally speaking, it takes 21 days to develop a habit," he said. "You need to schedule it into your day so it becomes part of your routine. Then you'll feel guilty if you don't go to the gym one day."
When starting out, someone beginning a new exercise routine should focus on low intensity workouts.
"Too often people think they have to go out and push as hard as they can for as long as they can," Wheeler said. "That's not the case."
The goal is to eventually get to the point where you exercise routine includes low, moderate and high levels of intensity.
When a person exercises at a lower intensity, they burn up calories. At higher intensities, a person's body burns up carbohydrates.
Wheeler said the best plan includes exercises that will help the person burn calories and carbs, and also help them tone their muscles.
"Most of the time people focus only on fat," he said. "Fat isn't the main focus."
Ideally, a person should exercise 30 to 45 minutes during their regular workouts. But again, Wheeler said, anyone starting out should work their way up to that goal.
"If you don't have the stamina, you can start out with 10 minutes and build up from there," he said. "Just starting is a big step toward getting to a person's goals."
One of the most important aspects of establishing a new exercise routine is setting measurable goals, Wheeler recommended.
At The Centre, fitness employees conduct consultations with new members to create an individual plan and outline each person's goals.
"You have to track your progress," he said. "It's going to let you know that you're getting results."
All too often, people who are getting more active have a tough time recognizing the small gains being made in terms of weight, overall fitness and overall health.
"People are so occupied with that number on the scale," he said. "It isn't always about the scale."
And good health definitely doesn't come through the newest diet or fancy exercise machines sold on television.
"There are so many things out there that people are bombarded with, but none of them will ever replace exercising and eating right," he said. "That's the only guaranteed way that people can get to their goals. It just takes a little bit of time and a little bit of effort, and it definitely takes consistency."