Tip of the Day

When selecting a fitness program, the first step is to determine your fitness goals. Wanting to get in shape for a marathon is a very different goal than wanting to tone up flabby forearms. Your needs should be addressed accordingly.

Dr. Edward Laskowski advises people to focus on their weakness when picking a new program. If you already lift weights on your own at home, then maybe a class that focuses on aerobics is right for you. If you aren’t very flexible, then a class that emphasizes stretching may be ideal.

Having your fitness assessed by a health professional also can help you pinpoint areas that need work. He or she will be able to tell you what your baseline fitness level is and may be able to recommend specific exercise programs.

Before deciding on a program, consider your likes and dislikes, including past activities and sports that you’ve found enjoyable. These factors will help you identify an activity you will enjoy pursuing. For instance, if you have never liked bike riding, then a program centered on a stationary bicycle is probably not for you.

(Source: Mayo Clinic, on the web at www.mayoclinic.com)

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