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Ten Things to Look for in a Fitness Program

FIY - Week 4

By: Ann-Marie Giglio
Co-Publisher, On the Gay Horizon

1.  What is your goal?  Are you looking to burn calories?  Do you want to improve cardio-vascular function?  Do you need to relieve stress?

2.  How much money can you spend?

3.  How do you prefer to work-out?  Do you like a social setting in a small group?  Are you comfortable in a large facility with lots of peers?  Do you need one-on-one attention?  Would you like to work out alone or specifically at home?

4.  When can you fit your workout time into your schedule?  This is an important question.  Get out your calendar.  Get out your family's calendar.  Look for the clear slots.  And then write it in.  Commit to these times.

5.  Check out the facility.   Visit unannounced.  Is it clean?  Is the equipment in good condition --- even if you don't plan to use it?  Are people smiling?

6.  Check out the instructor's credentials.  Remember that you can now essentially buy credentials on-line.  Never accept an on-line certification if it is the instructor's primary certification.  An instructor might learn a bit intellectually this way, but no one has actually witnessed this instructor's teaching method, nor double checked their safety knowledge.

7.  What is the class structure?  Are you going to be comfortable in the class no matter what level you begin in?

8.  Do you need any special equipment or clothing?  For example, a yoga class may ask you to bring a sticky mat.  A running workshop requires running shoes.

9.  Does the class progression make sense to you?  Does it inspire you?  Does it sound overwhelming?  If it sounds overwhelming, it probably is.   Look for something easier for your first foray into the field.

10.  Will you have fun?  If you don't enjoy this, it will quickly become a chore.  And then, it will quickly become a bore.   One person may enjoy running because the scenery is always changing.  Another may find it boring because the activity never varies. 

It's up to you.  Know yourself.  And get to it!


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