Welcome to this series of articles about Senior Well being. As we grow older, there are many things we can do to ensure that “Golden Years” are indeed golden.

A common challenge for people is how to incorporate fitness into their lives. They know they have to do something to get in shape, but they really don’t know how. It can be discouraging because of the abundance of information out there. You may not know where to begin.

Society has so many food choices, that it is easy to pack on extra pounds. Our day to day jobs are less physical than 100 years ago, and we have more sedentary life styles. We know there are benefits when we exercise and clean up our diet. However, most of us know don’t know how or where to start.

So where and how do we begin?

The very first thing you need do is go to your doctor and get the approval to start exercising. Your doctor may also provide some helpful tips.

After you get the “OK” from your doctor, try these 5 things to help you get started:

Make the choice to start exercising and eating right

Making the decision to do something provides a commitment you made to yourself. Deciding that you need to change behaviour creates new possibilities. When you say to yourself “I need to get in shape”, it means something.

You should be answering these questions in your mind: When can I work out? What exercises do I need to do? What foods should I be eating?

Make yourself think about the commitment you just made. Only then can you let go of the past and take steps forward.

Write Down What You Do

You need a reference that is realistic towards your weekly activity. Write down everything you do during the week. Include work hours, commuting hours, nights spent with your spouse, your child’s activities and anything else you can think of that you do. You should also include what you do on weekends. You should make a list for each day of the week.

Here’s why — Some people set lofty goals like working out 2 hours a day. This might be due to an old saying, “More is Better”. However, this is not the case. Knowing your schedule helps you set realistic goals and helps you find a few hours a week to start exercising. You’ll have a visual perspective on what you can and can’t do with your routine.

Research and Get Information

Most people do not have enough information before they start a workout program. So how do we get the information we need? We live in the information age. Take advantage of your favourite search engine and learn a little bit about fitness and nutrition. However, do not go overboard and lose focus.

Find an information source you like and take notes. Find the simplest and easiest workouts and nutrition tips. Don’t over load with information.

If you have the money, hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to help you get started. Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to get started, because you have made a commitment to meet someone to workout. Your goal is to have the trainer show you the basics on exercise and eating healthier. It may also be safer to learn how to perform the exercises (especially if you have not exercised for a while).

Create a Simple Plan and Set Realistic Goals

Keep it Simple! Following a simple plan while on a hectic schedule is much easier than following an elaborate plan. Plan which days to work out and plan to change your eating habits for the next few weeks. For example, “I will work out for a half an hour for 3 days this week. I will eat a little less each meal.” Simple is success.

Execute Your Plan

Now that you have a plan, all you need to do is follow it. This is another big step. You should look at your plan every day upon waking. You need be mentally prepared for the great day ahead of you.

Having your daily schedule in hand helps you achieve your daily goals. When you complete your workout for the day, highlight it or cross it off your list. It will show you accomplished something for yourself. No matter what you must execute. This will be the hardest (and most rewarding) step.

I hope these things get you started on a new life of physical fitness. Life is filled with making decisions, knowing your commitments, getting information, planning and execution.

Try these approaches. You will see having your own workout and nutrition program is not as far fetched or complicated as you think.

For more blogs please go to www.NicksDigitalSolutions.com  and choose Nicks blog.

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Nick Thorne is the founder of NicksDigitalSolutions Limited a company that specialises in Education, Training and Writing. He lives in Levin, New Zealand.