from SOPHE (the Society for Public Health Education)

  1. MAKE A PLAN. Think about ways you can become more physically active. Keep your plan simple and realistic. Write it down and post it at work and home.

  2. USE YOUR TIME WISELY. Most people think they don't have time to exercise. Yet 30 minutes a day is all that's needed to look and feel better. Often you can include one activity into daily chores like parking your car furthest away from the store or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

  3. START WITH SMALL CHANGES. If you have been previously inactive, don't change your lifestyle overnight. Not all people need to become Olympians. Make gradual changes in increasing your level of physical activity and stick with them.

  4. VARY YOUR ACTIVITY ROUTINE. To avoid boredom or burnout, be sure to include a variety of activities in your fitness plan. This will also help you to use different muscles and achieve improved fitness.

  5. KEEP IT FUN. Be creative and adventurous. Return to some of the activities you enjoyed as a kid like biking, jumping rope or kickball. Plan family outings involving a physical activity.

  6. PICK A PARTNER. Find a friend or family member to become active with. Or join a group or club where the people share similar fitness interests--or start one at your work or in your neighborhood.

  7. SHARE YOUR FITNESS NEWS. Discuss the changes you've made to become more physically active with your family, friends, and neighbors. This helps reinforce your own commitment to change and can inspire others to become more active as well.

  8. BALANCE YOUR ENERGY INTAKE AND OUTPUT. A healthy eating plan goes hand-in-hand with fitness. Whether eating or exercising, remember to follow the principles of balance, variety, and moderation.

  9. CHART YOUR PROGRESS. Keep a log of how often and how long you exercise. Note any weaknesses and discuss them with your partner. Identify ways to improve.

  10. REWARD YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS. Select a meaningful way to celebrate your new more active lifestyle, like buying a new pair of sneakers, tennis racket or exercise outfit.

To access the Surgeon General's report on Physical Activity, use either of following addresses: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/sgr/sgr.htm or http://www.ncppa.org/ncppa

Return to Fall 1996 Connections Quarterly Menu.