Guest Post: How to Choose the Right Exercise Program

by Stacy

Hi everyone! Ask me a food question and try to shut me up, but ask me about exercise recommendations and I don’t have much to tell you. Enter my friend Tracy who is an exercise expert, and she’s here to share her knowledge with us. Thanks so much, Tracy! — Stacy

P.S. Hope to see you at the very first #healthylife Twitter chat tonight!

Hello Center Stage Wellness readers! My name is Tracy and my corner of the blog universe is Commit To Fit where I share tips on fitness, nutrition and everything in between.  I am thrilled to be doing this guest post for my friend Stacy.

So, you want to start an exercise program?

Good for you! But where do you begin? From weight training to Zumba, it can often be overwhelming to figure out a good fit for your fitness.

Consider the following when making your choice:

  1. What kinds of activities do you enjoy? If you like playing volleyball, check at your local recreation center and sign up for a league. If you find something that you enjoy, you are more likely to stick with a program.
  2. How much time do you have to work out? 1 hour/day? 30 minutes? This makes a huge difference when picking a program. If you only can only spare 30 minutes a day, joining a gym may not make sense if you factor in travel and shower time. Working out at home with a trainer or using a DVD might be a better option.
  3. Do you work better solo or in a group? If you like to work out alone, consider running or one-on-one training. Prefer a crowd; join a fitness class or a sports team.
  4. How much money do you have to spend? You don’t need a lot of money to get healthy, but it is still a factor to consider. Figure out what your fitness budget is and research your options based on your interests, goals and budget.

Here are a few possibilities help get you started.

Scene of a gym where you might want to exerciseTraditional Gym

A fitness club or recreation facility that has exercise machines, free weights, fitness classes and possibly a pool and sports gym.


  • Gyms are everywhere and easy to find
  • Good variety of equipment
  • Staff and trainers can offer help and support
  • Able to exercise in a group or individual setting


  • May be intimidating for some
  • Costs can vary from location to location
  • May not be practical or convenient to get there
  • Programs and classes may not cater to your schedule or needs

A work out DVD that you can do at home anytimeAt-Home Workout

You can workout alone or with a buddy.  You can also choose to do your own thing, hire a personal trainer or utilize the many fitness DVDs and downloads available.


  • Workout possibilities are endless
  • Minimal cost involved
  • In a private environment
  • No travel time needed


  • May not be as motivated
  • Kids and other family obligations may make it difficult to do
  • May risk injury without supervision if you are a beginner

Meet up with people for motivation!Local Group or Meet-up

There are a ton of social networking sites such as Meetup and LinkedIn.  You could also do a Google search to find some exercise groups in your area.


  • It’s free (for the most part)
  • You get the support of like-minded individuals
  • Located close to your home
  • You can choose the specific activities you are interested in


  • Working out with people you don’t know
  • Times may not always fit into your schedule
  • There may not be a group in your area (but you could start one!)

If you have any comments, tips or questions, I would love to hear them so post away! You can also visit me at Commit To Fit or email me at

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