Start a Safe and Structured Health and Fitness Program in 3 Easy Steps

While everyone wants to be lean, healthy and in great shape, the truth is – not everyone knows how to go about achieving this in a way that will guarantee success.

With an abundance of diet and exercise programs on the market, along with the promise that if you purchase the latest “product of the month”, it can feel a bit confusing trying to figure out what might work… and if so, whether or not it’s right for you.

In the years I’ve been in the health and fitness industry, I’ve noticed a couple of things you might be able to relate to.

One of them being that regardless of how many solutions there are in regard to weight loss, people only seem to be gaining more weight and suffering the ill effects of poor health.

The other is there are programs out there offering a quick fix to a problem that for many of you, has taken a lifetime to create.

Here’s the thing…

There are no magic pills or fixes when it comes to your well-being.

While that may seem like bad news, there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

And that is…

Optimal health and well-being can be a simple, pleasant and rewarding journey if you know how to go about it in the right way.

So with this being said, what are some easy ways to help you to get started on the path to wellness in a safe and structured manner?

Here are some tips I think you’ll be able to follow without any difficulty.

How to Start a Safe and Structured Health and Fitness Program in 3 Easy Steps

1 – Take Inventory of Who You REALLY Are

Every effect we experience in life stems from a root cause. If you are someone who wants to lose weight and keep it off, you’ll have to get to know why you have gained weight to begin with.

You can ask yourself questions like:

  • What do I believe about myself, food and physical activity?
  • What are my thoughts and habits like?
  • What would make me feel excited about eating right?
  • Are there any types of physical activity that I might enjoy?
  • How important is this to me?
  • Why am I looking to do this?

Take some time to sit down with a pencil and sheet of paper and think about your answers. I had to personally take inventory of myself when I had embarked upon my own weight loss journey (I was over 200 pounds) – and doing the inner work is what freed me from the painful cycle of yo-yo dieting, eating disorders and inactivity.

2 – Browse and Experiment

Now that you’ve answered some questions about the cause of your current predicament, it’s time to do some “shopping” for the right programs and/or products to help you with your goals.

If you have decided (from your answers) that you would like to learn more about Yoga and its benefits in regard to strengthening the body while calming the mind, then do a little research and see what type may be most suitable for you.

You can do this in regard to any fitness program as the same rules apply. If you want to learn to dance, take a class. If you like walking, start a fitness walking program – and invite friends and loved ones along. You can also start a “walk at home” program if you’d prefer to stay indoors.

When it comes to diet, now that you’ve uncovered the fact that you hate vegetables (but you looooove chips), ask yourself if there’s a way to recreate chips using potatoes or even sweet potatoes and find a recipe that allows you to do this using healthy and nutrient dense ingredients.

Consider finding (or starting) a healthy potluck and surround yourself with fun and creative dishes that inspire healthy living.

This can be fun! Follow the path of least resistance (meaning, find what feels natural) and take your time. Shop around and see what draws you in. This is how you’ll stick with it.

3 – Practice Safety

The idea behind incorporating a safe and structured health and fitness program into your life is to do this with mindfulness and awareness.

If you’re going to start a new way of eating, make sure you’re following a plan that is suited for you – and doesn’t simply follow what the crowd is doing.

There are many diets out there that eliminate pivotal food groups and only serve to cause more harm than good. Eat a well-balanced diet – and if you have any food allergies, consult a registered dietitian for proper guidance.

When it comes to exercise, know there are certain rules you must follow in order to prevent unnecessary injury.

If you hire a trainer, make sure they’re educated and well-qualified to instruct you. Know your medical history and respect any injuries you either currently have, or have endured over the years.

Be mindful of exercising in extreme temperatures and make sure you stay hydrated.

Exercise like a beginner if you ARE a beginner. 

Increase your level of difficulty only as you become conditioned enough to do so safely.

By following the tips I have shared with you here, you will find yourself in a position to introduce well-being into your life and experience the benefits for many years to come.

You’ll become someone who simply lives to be healthy and well – and the chances of needing a weight loss program sometime in the future will decrease significantly.

Does this make sense to you? How do you feel about including a health and fitness program into your life in a way that makes it fun, realistic and creative?

Want more bullshit-free wisdom? Check out my latest book “Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity).”

Grab your copy at any of these online retailers.

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Dana Gore

Author of the books "A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You)" and "Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity)", Dana Gore is a health and fitness professional, wellness coach, and freelance writer. Dana brings guidance to the public about how to achieve optimal health in a safe and structured manner while inspiring her readers to seek self-awareness and inner peace as a means to well-being in all areas of life.

16 thoughts on “Start a Safe and Structured Health and Fitness Program in 3 Easy Steps

  • at 2:47 am
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    Hi Dana.
    How are you?
    In today’s stress laden world
    Living a healthy lifestyle
    Is such a MUST
    Yet most people
    Fail to understand this
    Great post.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Regards.

    Reply
    • at 10:01 am
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      Hi Ved,

      So true. It’s one of the best ways to deal with stress and declare self-care.
      I’m glad you enjoyed this post. The truth is, exercise doesn;t have to be complicated, but safety is always important.

      It goes beyond weight loss.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting 🙂

      Reply
  • at 9:48 am
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    Hey Dana,

    There is always a concern about the health. Nowadays people don’t get much time to think about their health and the diet they take. they should take care of it.

    An issue with the exercises is that people don’t know the perfect form. They should learn the forms by watching videos and reading about them.

    I have seen my friends eating the junk food which is affecting their health. They just think about getting lean but don’t really work for it.

    Such an informative article.
    I hope this will help many people.
    Enjoy the day.
    ~Ravi

    Reply
    • at 9:28 am
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      Hi Ravi,

      I know it’s been challenging for a lot of people to stick with a healthy living program. It’s tough to start one to begin with, but consistency seems to be the bigger issue.

      This is why it’s so important to know your why. It’ll fuel the motivation when life gets in the way.

      We’ve become an incredibly unhealthy nation over time. The junk food is abundant and loaded with chemicals that affect brain activity. This is part of the reason they’re so addictive.

      I hope this helps people too Ravi.
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Reply
  • at 4:37 pm
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    Hey Dana,

    Great advice here. One thing I advocate is to find an exercise that you enjoy doing. It makes it easier to lose weight and at the same time have fun doing. Some people like to go hiking, like others like to go dancing (like myself).

    Also doing research and experimenting with different healthy dishes does take a load off of just eating plain celery sticks lol. It’s not that exciting but mixing it with different other types of food can also make it more enjoyable and satisfactory to your hunger. Right now I’m heavy into mediterranean food and I’m loving every minute of it.

    Thanks for the great advice! Have a good one!

    Reply
    • at 9:33 am
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      Hey Sherman,

      You’re so right. It doesn’t require eating a bunch of bland “diet” foods to eat well. All it takes is a desire, an open mind and a creative imagination. That’s what worked for me and I was pretty bad off at one time.

      Food can be and needs to be an enjoyable experience. Same thing with exercise.
      Your example of dancing is perfect. It burns a lot of calories, works every muscle in the body – but to you, it probably doesn’t feel like much of a workout because you’re having fun doing it for the sake of the activity itself. That’s the idea.

      Traditional workouts are fine too. Different, but less enjoyable for a lot of people. That’s why I suggest sticking with the path of least resistance and not forcing anything. Just find what you like.

      Thanks for stopping by Sherman. Have a fantastic Sunday 🙂

      Reply
  • at 11:11 am
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    Hi Dana,

    I love your advice and you always give me such great inspiration. When it comes to exercise, I must have an aversion to the word. I’ve found my why and came to terms with myself that time is something that is the most important factor. There is no instant gratification when it comes to loosing weight. If it comes off too fast I know it’s the yo-yo effect.

    So, I changed up my eating and “exercising” life patterns. I started the Paleo diet. Not to loose weight nor to do anything else, but it came to me naturally, After 30 some odd years of being a vegetarian, I was craving meat. I never even ate it when I was a kid. So, I followed my body and it lead me to eating the Paleo way. I’ve lost 2 pounds and feel more alert.

    Now that is reinforcement. I think that when we want to change our exercise and/or eating we do have to be mindful of how we feel. For me that is the reinforcement I need.

    Having Fun: I’m having fun with the challenges of cooking in a different way. Baking Kale chips and so on. I love cooking and this gives me a challenge. Also it is Summer and I can walk the beach safely with my huge hat and cover up lol.

    Reply
    • at 9:40 am
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      Hi Donna,

      Awww, I’m glad this inspired you 🙂

      I know how you feel about exercise. You’re not alone in that. I also know you’ve been walking. That’s a fantastic way to stay active and you can make it as challenging as you need to by increasing speed, distance or terrain.

      I know a lot of people who’ve followed the paleo diet. I don’t have an opinion of it. I always suggest that whatever you’re doing, just keep a diet filled with produce – especially vegetables for every reason imaginable.

      I haven’t made kale chips, but I’d like to. I’ve had them and they’re SO good, now I just have to make them myself.
      Do you have a recipe you feel like sharing?

      Thanks for stopping by Donna. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

      Reply
  • at 10:15 am
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    Hi, Dana

    What a good advice. Most people want to lose weight but they don’t know “why they want it” so that they stop when there is no motivation to move forward.

    The most success one has plan, know what he want and can face the reality head on. They take small steps; they know even lose one pound in a week is the indication of progress. In this way, they will not feel burden, pressure, and stress out.

    Nice that you points many important points for people to ponder

    Thanks

    Stella Chiu

    Reply
    • at 8:33 pm
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      Hi Stella,

      Yeah, the “why” is so important.

      So many people see this giant mountain to climb. I did, so I get it.
      This is why it’s effective to be connected to your emotional component (although you don’t let the emotions dictate actions).

      Slow and steady wins the race. I know it’s frustrating because you want to see the results quickly, but the best way to do this is the right way. It takes time because it’s all encompassing (mind, emotions, self-awareness, deliberate actions, etc), but it’s well worth it in the end.

      I appreciate your visit Stella. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Reply
  • at 11:25 pm
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    Hey Dana,

    I really like the tips you shared here – especially the first one. This is where I fall short. I know I have to be healthy but I don’t have my “why”. When we had our chat a while back, I started to think about it and came up with “being around to see my grandkids grow up.”

    I also see my mother’s health and I think – that will be me if I don’t take care of myself…and that’s what made me start eating healthier. I still have a long way to go but I’m slowly giving up things like buying take out and cooking more and yes, drinking less soda. 🙂

    Always love reading your posts gf. Have a great week!

    Cori

    Reply
    • at 9:46 pm
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      Hey Cori,

      It’s so important to know your why. It’s THE reason for everything – that emotional component that not only gets you going, but keeps you consistent.

      I remember you mentioning your why in our chat. Now with your Mom’s condition – I can see why this is even more important to you now.

      It’s great that you’ve slowly started eating better. It can be a work in progress. The idea is to make it enjoyable. It’s totally doable – but it requires keeping an open mind.

      The soda and the take-out are major culprits with weight, so it’s good that you’re backing off of that stuff.

      I’m glad you enjoy my posts Cori. I appreciate your visits and just you in general 🙂

      Reply
  • at 3:28 pm
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    Hey Dana,

    What a great and inspirational post! Taking care of our health is a state of mind. We have to understand that eating healthy and exercising is not a punishment, but instead a way to show that we love ourselves. Just like you said, it doesn’t have to be dull and hard.

    For a few years now, I changed my way of thinking, and I completely transform my eating habits. And for the past few months, I began to exercise. First with country dance classes, then with yoga, and now I follow a program at home that combines yoga and pilates. It’s fun and, more importantly, it’s adapted to my condition (Fibromyalgia). That was my mistake before, I tried too hard and then I gave up after a few lessons because I couldn’t keep up with the program.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. I’m sure that this post will inspire others to take better care of themselves. Hope you’re having a great weekend, gf! Happy 4th! 🙂

    ~Nataly

    Reply
    • at 9:42 pm
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      Hey Nataly,

      Glad you liked the post.

      Yes – taking care of our health doesn’t have to be a drag. Our state of mind is everything. This can be a pleasant experience. It’s a matter of shifting perspective.

      It’s great that you’ve found a way to exercise that works well with Fibromyalgia. I know other people who have this and it’s unpleasant when it flares up. Your example would give hope to those who suffer from this.

      It’s always best not to overdo things. There’s a way to challenge yourself and still keep things safe.

      Thanks for stopping by Nataly. I had a quiet 4th – which was fine by me 🙂

      Reply
  • at 10:44 am
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    Hi Dana,

    I have to say, the more I read from you, the more I’m sold on your expertise. I’m not much into a strict, routine exercise program, however, I do like to run around and chase my furkids around for good cardio. Eating healthier has come into play more over the past year, as I found myself almost topping that 200 mark and battling to get it lower. It’s baby steps, right? Getting my mind into the game first was my plan. That I’ve done and I’ve been seeing a loss of weight. However, maintaining a healthy and portion controlled diet is my biggest issues. Is see food, I like to eat it. 🙂 I know you can help more and more men and women so I have no problem in pumping you up, girl.

    I know how motivational you can be in your talks and admire your mind set. Thank you for being an inspiration!

    Oh have a great 4th!

    Bren

    Reply
    • at 11:01 am
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      Hey Bren,

      I appreciate that 🙂

      I feel the eating habits play a HUGE role – probably more so than anything else. You can’t out train a bad diet, but many people think they can. So they engage in high intensity exercise programs (many of which may not be safe or appropriate for them) and they might burn the calories, just to put them right back into their system afterward.

      The path of least resistance is to make a healthy diet enjoyable. I know the mindset required to do this consistently – and it IS a mindset.

      Chasing your furkids around is an excellent way to exercise.You’re having fun and serving a purpose (spending quality time with those you love and they’re exercising too). It’s so important for animals to move – and you’re helping them do that.

      I read an article on Ben’s site “Getmywellness.com” and he talked about exercising as a day to day life purpose. I agree wholeheartedly. We wouldn’t need as many “workout programs” if we just ate right and moved more. But because things have gotten to such an extreme, it’s become necessary to endure structured programs to swing the pendulum back to the other side (if that makes sense).

      I so appreciate you and your comment B. Enjoy your holiday weekend.

      Reply

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