Starting and Maintaining an Exercise Program

…that Actually Works

This is my first article for Lifestyle Magazine, so I should probably introduce myself. I’m a long-time Grand Junction resident, and obsessively active. In fact, my wife and I moved here for the healthy lifestyle that Grand Junction has to offer. Over 30 years, I’ve either run, cycled, swam, skied, or hiked nearly every day. It’s no surprise that I’ve seen a lot of well-intentioned neophytes come and go during that time. So, as we enter the new year, I wanted to provide some life-experience advice on how to not only start an exercise program but also how to maintain it.  

1. Find an activity that you love. Fitness will follow as a natural byproduct. 

This is the number one element to a successful and sustainable exercise program. If you start running and hate it, then stop! Move on to something that you enjoy. Only then can you take an activity and turn it into a lifestyle.

2. Camaraderie is King. 

Join a club, a gym, or your friends in your pursuit of an exercise program. Knowing that you are with like-minded people who share the same motivation can make your fitness journey fun and rewarding. They can also offer advice and guidance through their own experiences, which you may find invaluable. 

3. Set incremental, obtainable goals.

This time of year, people tend to set lofty goals. However, they can fall short given the novelty of the pursuit. And nothing can kill an exercise program quicker than setting unrealistic goals. For example, if you’ve never run, set your sights on completing a 5k, not a marathon. 

If you can tap into these three pillars of a successful exercise program, the likelihood that you’ll maintain and persist will be greater, and carry you through the year and well beyond.

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