By Devin Burke Special to The Pineapple THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: I’m ready to start exercising. Can you give me a few tips on where and how to start? ANSWER: Starting an exercise program can be both an exciting and intimidating endeavor. It can also seem like a very daunting task. By making the personal decision to start exercising, you’ve taken the first step. But you may find yourself wondering, “Now what?” I believe in keeping it simple! By following these 6 simple tips, you will be well on your way to a physically balanced body and a healthier, happier you! Note: Before starting any kind of new exercise program, you should to visit your doctor for a health checkup. This is very important and not to be over looked, especially when just starting out. 1. Plan it! Not having a plan is like rowing to the middle of a lake and then dropping your oars. You must create a personal plan of action in order for your exercise strategy to be successful. First, know what you want to achieve, then map out a specific plan to get there. Keep your plan simple. One big reason many people fail when starting an exercise program is they make it too complex and get over-whelmed. By following the tips in this post you will be off to a great start. 2. Make time! You’ve decided to start, now MAKE the time to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. There are 24 hours in a day, every day we get them and every day we use them. It’s not about more use of your time, it’s all about better use. Think about how much time you are willing to devote to improving your physical body per week. Then ask yourself, “What time of day works best for me?” If you’re a morning person, set aside some extra time each morning to exercise. Make a schedule of when you will exercise and stick to it! 3. Make it fun! If you don’t like jogging, then don’t jog. This should be common sense, right? Wrong. So many people stop exercising because they start their program with activities that they don’t really enjoy …let’s save those activities for the company holiday party. Instead, let’s make exercise fun! There are so many ways to get fit. A few of my personal favorites are: weightlifting, yoga, pilates, walking, jogging, swimming, playing sports and bike riding. Think about what you like to do and go from there. Still lost? Check out classes at your local gym for ideas or better yet, try some of my favorite ways and see what works for you. 4. Mix it up! Adding variety is essential to a successful exercise program. Think outside of the box… Include different types of activities in your exercise routine and think about different places you can do those exercises. One of my favorites is jogging along the beach. Adding variety to your routine is essential to achieve a physically balanced body. Not sure what a physically balanced body is? No problem! Here are my 5 Keys to Unlock a Physically Balanced Body. 5. Outcomes – Set & Track them! Notice how I didn’t say goals. Goals are either achieved or not achieved. Outcomes, on the other hand, are measureable. By setting outcomes and tracking them, you will be able to see your progress overtime and stay motivated you to keep it up. Set some realistic outcomes for what you want to achieve. It could be that you want to drop 10 pounds for summer to fit into that new bikini, or maybe you want to complete a 5K that has been on your bucket list. Once you have your outcomes set, track your progress. Not only will this ensure you are achieving your outcomes, it also drives you to stay on track! 6. Ask for help! Don’t be afraid to seek out a qualified exercise professional for assistance. They will help you create a safe, effective exercise program. By hiring a pro, you can be assured that you are doing the exercise with proper form and maximizing your efforts in a safe and effective way. Additionally, you will have someone to hold you accountable, help you stick to your action plan and push yourself past mental barriers. Which usually is the only thing standing in your way to success? Now you’re ready to start your exercise program. You know what you want to achieve and how to get started. Remember to use these tips and keep it simple! Think about how it will feel to reach your desired outcomes. Stay motivated and don’t let fear get in the way. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and just do it! Health and happiness, Devin Devin Burke is a Wellness Educator, Health and Fitness Coach. He has studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. His life’s mission is to inspire and educate as many people as he can to experience optimal health. Visit www.DevinBurke.com to learn more.