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How to Get Started

September 28, 1993|SHARI ROAN

* Begin slowly. Overdoing your first few workouts may lead you to quit.

* Remember that exercise does not have to be intense to be valuable. A moderate workout that lasts 30 minutes is beneficial.

* Find a role model who can support your efforts.

* Find a workout partner for mutual support.

* Lower your expectations. Don't expect to be good at your chosen activity right away. And don't expect immediate changes in your body and health.

* Set aside time to exercise and don't let other things interfere. If you can't schedule a regular workout time, consider an activity that you can do almost any time.

* Find an activity or exercise that you really enjoy. If you like what you're doing, you are more likely to stay with it.

* If you miss a few days or weeks of exercise, don't criticize yourself. Likewise, if you have never exercised, forget past transgressions and focus on the benefits of exercising now.

* Don't exercise because someone else is forcing you; it won't last. Do it because you want to.

* If you still find it difficult to start, look for simple ways to build physical activity into your daily life: Use the stairs instead of the elevator.

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