1. Exercising, along with dieting, has many great benefits, both mentally and physically.  Starting an exercise routine is one the best things that you can do to relieve stress, improve your mental and physical health and to, in comes cases, commune with nature.  If you are looking to start an exercise regimen, below are some tips to help you get started.

    Consult with your physician:

    Consulting with your physician about starting an exercise routine is highly recommended.  There are some health factors that may prevent some people from performing certain exercises.  For example, a person with bad knees may not necessarily want to start off sprinting around the block.  You may be able to gradually work your way up to sprinting but you doctor may want to you start off by walking at a slow pace, strengthening the knees, preparing them for the sprinting routine.  There are some people with bad backs, heart problems and a host of other health conditions that may prevent them from performing certain exercises or the way that they perform them.  Your doctor, since he or she should know the facts about your present health conditions, is the perfect starting point for creating an exercise routine that fits your lifestyle needs. 

    Plan your course of action:

    When starting an exercise routine, it is a great idea to plan in advance, a routine.  How many days per week do you plan to exercise, what body parts will you focus on and on which days of the week?  By planning your exercise routine, there is less chance of failing or starting and stopping.  By having a plan, or structure in your workout routine, chances that you will be successful and continue with your workout routine, even after your goal has been accomplished, is a great deal higher.   Also, most people tend to stick to their workout routine if they have someone that holds them accountable.  Now, not saying that you have to have someone that is a drill sergeant, but someone who will call and check to see how it is going or someone that will give you the encouragement that you need to keep you motivated.

    Keep a log:

    Keep an exercise journal.  This is great for a number of reasons.  Keeping an exercise journal allows to you keep track of what types of exercise you perform, on which days you perform them, and allows you to see how much you progress.  For example, if you start off doing 3 sets of 10 pushups the first week, and by the end of week four you are doing 5 sets of 15, you can see how much you have progressed in your workout routine.  This also gives you a great feeling of accomplishment and encourages you to do even more.  Also, it helps you target your problem areas and or areas that may require more attention.  If you find that you are successful in certain areas of your routine and seeing results, and not so successful in other areas, seeing little or no results, it gives you an idea of what areas require more focus. 

    Create a realistic schedule:

    If you are one of those people who are trying to schedule your workout routine in between work, the kids, the family, and the extracurricular activities, keeping a realistic schedule, one that you will be able to follow is important.  The biggest reason that most people fail to keep up a workout schedule is because, if they are thrown off track for any reason, they feel that they can just put off working out until another day, another week and before you know it, another month.  If you start out with a realistic schedule, one that you will be able to follow, chances are you will stick to it and, possibly incorporate more days into your schedule.   

    Type of exercise:

    One of the biggest problem areas for most people is their abs.  Everyone wants a six-pack.  Working the abs, when not performed properly, can make you feel as if you have a 50 pound weight sitting on your abdomen.  Ab workouts should be done with care.  When working the abs, make sure that you research proper form.  Working the abs incorrectly can cause back and neck problems.  There are workout websites that you can view to see the various types of ab workouts, areas that they focus on, and demonstrations of proper form.  If you are looking to lose weight, you may want to concentrate more on cardio. Weight loss is not an overnight thing and you should not expect overnight reactions.  After all, you did not put on weight overnight do don’t be hard on yourself if you do not see instant results.  Losing weight healthily requires patience.  You will lose weight and the rate at which you lose it will depend on the methods used.  Treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary and moving bikes, running and jogging are all great ways of losing weight.  Dieting along will not make you lose weight, remember that.  Losing weight is comprised of many different methods and you have to determine which method is best for you.  Once you find a method that works for you, stick to it. 

    Drink Water:

    Just like eating healthy should be incorporated into your daily diet, drinking 8 glasses of water is equally important.  Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is great for regular health maintenance but, if you are focusing on dieting, you will need to incorporate even more water into your diet.  In fact, you should make water your first beverage choice of the day.  It is healthier than caffeinated drinks and it helps to flush the body of toxins.  Water is a great weight loss enhancer.  If you are working out as part of a diet, water is definitely something that you want to add to your daily intake.  Dieting alone does not make you lose weight.  Weight loss results come from incorporating a variety of things into your diet and water is healthy for you. 

    Eat Healthy:

    There are a number diet tips that you can learn.  The important part to dieting is to incorporate realistic diet tips into your routine.  The first step to a healthy diet is eating right and dieting and eating right plays a major role in the success of accomplishing your goal.  Having a great workout program with bad eating habits defeats the purpose of your workout plan.  Eating three square meals per day, incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet will help get the results you are looking for.  Also, a healthy diet includes eating breakfast in the morning because it gets your metabolism working to help you burn calories throughout the day.  In between meals, if you get hungry, keep some healthy snacks readily available.  A lot of times when people do not eat breakfast and get hungry throughout the day, they tend to just grab something to hold them over.  Be prepared and keep carrots, celery, or fruits available to nibble on when you have that urge of hunger.

    Comfortable workout attire:

    Nothing is worse than working out in clothing or footwear that is uncomfortable.  Invest or treat yourself to a couple of great workout outfits and comfortable sneakers.  If part of your workout regimen includes cardio, you will need a comfortable pair of sneakers.  Make sure that they provide cushion, insoles, fit properly and provide you with great foot support.  Looser fitting clothing is more comfortable to work out in than form fitting attire.  It allows the pores to breath and allows the sweat glands to do their job. 

    Safe environment:

    Make sure that your workout location is safe.  Taking safety precautions is very important.  Do not exercise in parks late at night or walk on trails that are secluded or lacking proper lighting.  There are a number of trails and parks that you can find where there are other workout enthusiasts who share your common interest, working out.  You may even find some accountability buddies who also need and accountability buddy.  Gyms and recreations facilities are great places to work out. 

    Reward yourself:

    When you reach a specific goal or milestone, reward yourself.  You don’t have to go out and have a steak dinner to reward yourself.  Rewarding yourself can include a day at the spa, a new pair of sneakers or a new workout outfit or a new water bottle, bicycle, or a pair of weights.  Make it something related to your workout routine. 

    There are many great workout tips but these make the list because they are realistic tips, tips that if used, can create the success that you are looking for and they are tips that everyone can use.  Whether you are a beginner, an intermediate, or power exerciser, these tips will work for you.

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