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Restart Your Fitness Engine — Now!

If the last time you exercised, Jane Fonda was wearing leg warmers and a head band, it's time to get moving

By Colin Milner

Investing in your health involves more than buying a fancy pair of running shoes or a fitness club membership. It’s about taking the time to set goals, to create strategies to help you replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones and to establish what type of exerciser you are. To accomplish this, answer the following questions:


  1. Why do I want to exercise? Your reasons can be as simple and varied as keeping up with your grandchildren or walking up the Great Wall of China. Whatever the answer, you have just found your purpose. People with purpose have changed the world — and so they can certainly change themselves.
  2. What habits do I need to replace? Replace junk food with more fruits and vegetables. Spend less time in your favorite TV chair, and more time being active. Eliminate excuses, like “I can’t exercise because my dog is too tired.”
  3. What barriers prevent me from exercising? Make a list of the things that prevent you from exercising, then set out to eliminate or reduce them. One of the most common is lack of energy. How do you eliminate this barrier? First, realize you are in a “ what came first — the chicken or the egg” scenario. Your lack of energy will remain until you gain more energy. But to gain more energy, you need the energy to exercise. Solution: Start moving, even a little bit. 
  4. What is your exercise style? Do you prefer to exercise indoors or outdoors? Do you like working out with a friend, in a group, or on your own? Do you like competition? Once you’ve settled on your exercise style, it’s time to create an action plan.

Take Action


Now you have what you need to get going. Since you aren’t invincible, remember to start slowly, pace yourself, and, most important, enjoy the ride.

Note: If you have any major health issues check with your doctor before starting any type of exercise regimen.

Colin Milner is founder and chief executive officer of the International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA), a member of  the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils, and an adviser to, among others, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Administratiion on Aging and the U.S. National Institute on Aging. Milner has been involved in the health and fitness industry since 1982. Prior to establishing ICAA in 2001, he was president of IDEA Health and Fitness Association. Milner’s efforts were recognized by the Canadian Fitness Professional Association in 2010 with the Can-Fit-Pro Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the Canadian fitness industry. Read More
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