As your strength and endurance increase you add a bit more either with time or intensity. But if there are any signs of pain, you should stop. There is a big difference between challenging yourself and proving that you are a stud and immune from pain and injury.
Be smart about exercise. Hire an expert if you need help and don't do too much too soon. The longer you stay pain- and injury-free, the more likely you are to hang on to your routine. That's a good thing.
We may not know the real reason why want to exercise, or we haven't discovered a reason that's valid enough for us to stick with it. Explore your reasons for wanting to begin exercising.
Don't use weight loss -- it's too general. If it is weight loss, explore why you want to lose weight. Is it to feel better? Is it because you're going to be 40 and you want to be fabulous? Maybe your doctor encouraged it for disease prevention. Find the reason that matters most to you and your excuses will become a part of the past.
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Nicki Anderson is president and owner of Reality Fitness, a full-service personal training studio in Illinois. She is also a certified personal trainer and fitness practitioner.