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Paige Waehner

Personal trainer and author of About.com's guide to exercise

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Shaping Up Nicely

Getting in Shape: Slow and Spicy

Unfortunately, some novice exercisers are overly ambitious. “People jump in too hard, too fast,” explains Espel. “They become sore or injured and they don’t come back.”

James Cooper*, a member of Donna’s fitness class, wanted to increase his fitness level but he suffered from arthritis, which meant that he couldn’t run without pain. Determined to get in shape, he enrolled in a race-walking program. “The non-impact movements actually help my arthritis, and I’m in the best aerobic shape of my life,” he says.

In order to stay in shape, you’ll have to constantly challenge your muscles to work harder. One way to do this is to change up your routine regularly. If you usually run or use an elliptical machine, try a water aerobics or yoga class instead.

The Motivation Equation

When it comes to staying in shape beyond the first 30 days, the statistics are not encouraging. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, at least 50% of all people who begin a workout plan drop out after six months, meaning you’ll have to work to maintain your commitment to your workout plan.

“Many people have trouble staying motivated once they begin a fitness program,” explains fitness trainer Beverly Richardson. Richardson notes that staying realistic about your goals and your abilities can keep you motivated to succeed.

Another way to stay enthusiastic is to keep your workouts fun. “Fitness novices should focus on changing their mindset from ‘going to the gym’ to ‘going out to play,’ ” says Alex Chemerov, co-owner of the outdoor training program Discovermovement.com.

Remember that the first 30 days of getting in shape are just the beginning. You may not see results quickly, but over time your efforts will show!

*name(s) changed.

Posted: 11/21/07

I definitely resonate with this article. I definitely also recommend fitness dvds to people who want to get in shape in a nonjudgmental environment! I find it really helps to work out one on one with a virtual gym environment :) pls check out Link :)


i'm really captivated with this piece and would want to be involved completely. how do i get the most of this? because i want to work on my shape and look good, although 'm not too bad in shape but i want to look really captivating.
i sincerely hope to hear from you soonest. bye for now. faith

  • By faiyit
  • on 11/12/08 5:34 AM EST