8 Do's and Don'ts for Fitness Newbies

DO: Exercise with Friends

Boredom is a common reason exercise programs fail. One way to overcome this problem is to exercise with friends. This provides a sense of camaraderie, a positive social experience and the ability to push each other to higher levels of performance. For this to work, you have to find an exercise both can enjoy at the appropriate fitness level. This may be a challenge, but it's worth the effort because you'll be more likely to develop a successful, long-term program.

More: 5 Ways to Find Motivation With a Partner

DON'T: Overdo It

One of the biggest reasons exercise programs fail is injury. An injury can include significant damage to a muscle tissue such as a sprain, or relatively minor muscle damage that results in soreness. Either situation can diminish your motivation to exercise. Whatever activity you choose, make sure you learn how to perform it safely.

DO: Consider Organized Fitness Classes and Events

One way to get motivated is to take part in an organized fitness classes. Check out local gyms and recreational facilities for group events, and choose an activity you think you'll enjoy.

More3 Reasons It's Better to Work Out With a Group

DON'T: Start with High-Intensity Exercise

You don't have to engage in vigorous physical activity to increase your level of fitness or improve your overall health. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine has emphasized that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (e.g., walking, golfing) on most days is sufficient. 

While this will not prepare you to run a marathon or ride the Tour de France, you'll reach a higher fitness level than a sedentary individual. You can increase exercise intensity as your fitness improves.

MoreHow to Make Clear Fitness Goals

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About the Author

Tyrone Holmes

Tyrone A. Holmes, Ed.D, CPT, is a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and a Level 1 cycling coach through USA Cycling. He provides Cycle-Max Coaching for cyclists and multisport athletes who want to improve their performance on the bike and Healthy Life Coaching for individuals who want to lose weight and develop healthier lifestyles. His latest book is The Business of Training and Coaching. Visit his website at www.holmesfitness.com and his Fitness Corner blog at www.doctorholmes.wordpress.com.

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