We all see it. Lots of books about exercising, lots of information online, lots of gym equipment for sale.  You can learn how to exercise correctly, how to breathe, the correct posture and you can buy equipment for your home that promises great results.

But... it will be so much easier if you get a little help in getting started.

See Yourself.

You can't see yourself in a mirror and still perform most exercises. Even if you could it would take your focus away from what you are doing. How is your posture? How is your timing? Are you doing it correctly?  Are you Too fast?

Even if you wanted to see yourself from all angles, you could lose focus. Also what would you do, look in the mirror then check the book to see if you've done it correctly?  (We won't mention how silly you'd look).


Pay for a session ahead of time and make an appointment. You won't want to pay for something you never use nor would you want to break your appointment. Once a trainer teaches you what to do you will want to practice what you learned - and that's great motivation.

Also, if you plan on joining a gym, ask for a Personal Trainer as part of your sign-up. This can save you some money. Be sure to ask your gym about their offers. Shop around, but try to stay local enough that you can go when you want to. Motivation is sometimes the absence of excuses.

Learning anything for the first time is easier with a teacher and there are so many variables to learn how to do an exercise correctly. If you are going to put in the effort, we want to be sure you get the most out of it that you possibly can.

It's helpful to have someone focused on you and your needs. Especially since you may be at a different level than a book indicates or maybe an exercise is not for you - not all exercises are.

A trainer will adjust your routine for you. Then you can follow-up with a book to remember what you learned or to see a picture of someone performing that routine. A book will remind you what your trainer taught you.

As you can see, we highly recommend hiring a personal trainer from your local gym. But, before you go to your first session, do your homework:

  1. Know if you'd feel more comfortable with a man or woman trainer and ask the gym if they can accommodate your request.
  2. Ask if the trainer is certified.
  3. Write down your goal - do you want to run a marathon, have better balance, lose 15 lbs? Your trainer will adjust your workout based on your goals. If they are specific such as running a marathon, you may want to ask them if they recommend changes to your diet as well.
  4. Be sure to tell the trainer about any pains, medications and medical limitations so they can work with this knowledge. For example, the trainer can recommend exercises for high blood pressure or not show you back exercises if you've recently had surgery or pain.
  5. Make a list of questions for your session:
    • What part of the body are you exercising? What are the exercises called?
    • How should you breathe - inhale as you begin the motion, or exhale.
    • What is a good pace? How many should you do in 5 - 10 minutes?
    • What is the correct form?  Should you focus on standing straight? How should your feet be positioned?
    • How do you know when it's too much for you? What should you expect?
    • How long should you expect to do the exercise before going to the next level? .
    • How do they recommend you track your progress? If walking, a fitbit or phone app can track steps - you may want to keep a journal so you can see your progress next to the rest of your routine. You may be able to record what you've done online with your gym. See what your trainer recommends.

Asking about the next level can pertain to a single exercise but also your weekly routine. This is important because advancing to the next level for Balance, Endurance, Flexibility and Strength exercises are all different. It could be the length of time it will take you or the amount of weights or the number of steps. Set your expectations ahead of time so you don't get discouraged.

Most of all, enjoy the short and long-term benefits !

Let us know how you are doing - we'd love to hear your story !!

Thanks for stopping by - please be sure to come visit us again!

Published by Joan E. Wilder