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Dos and Don’ts for Establishing a Better Fitness Regimen

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Dos and Don’ts for Establishing a Better Fitness Regimen

If your resolution this year is to establish a better fitness regimen, learn the basics from Cooper Fitness Center Fitness Director and Professional Fitness Trainer Mary Edwards. With Mary’s list of fitness dos and don’ts you’ll be sure to start the year off right.


  1. Do see your physician. The next time you receive a physical exam—and if you don’t do this annually, now’s the time to start—make sure to get medical clearance to exercise from your physician. It’s important to identify any heart problems, high blood pressure or other medical conditions before beginning a fitness routine.

  2. Do see a professional fitness trainer. These experts will make sure you have the perfect, individualized program as well as establish two to three sessions of initial fitness and training education. A professional fitness trainer will create a program based on your personal fitness goals that will include cardio and strength training.

  3. Do set a realistic goal. Exercise should be a normal routine in everyone’s lives, but that doesn’t mean we’re all working out for the same reason. Whether you’re exercising for weight loss, strength improvement, a specific event or basic function, it’s important to set specific and realistic goals. This helps you and your professional fitness trainer map out a fitness plan and figure out what’s important to you.

  4. Do what you enjoy and have fun. If you prefer cardio training, find classes, machines or outdoor settings you truly like. If you don’t like strength training, make sure to do it with a friend or your professional fitness trainer for the extra motivation. Or try a class that incorporates strength training. The bottom line is you can’t commit to fitness if you don’t enjoy it.


  1. Don’t ignore pain. When you constantly feel sharp pain in your muscles or joints after working out, don’t disregard it. A professional fitness trainer can help you work around the pain and recover after you see a medical specialist for diagnosis.

  2. Don’t overdo it. If you’re new to fitness, one of the best pieces of advice is to start small and stay consistent. If you’ve been exercising and are well-trained, make sure to alternate high- to low-intensity activity. For example, try high-intensive interval training on Monday and Wednesday and lighter cardio training on Tuesday and Thursday.

  3. Don’t be repetitive with your workouts. If you don’t enjoy repetitive and mundane routines in general, don’t allow them to influence your workouts! It’s good to have balance and variety. Try different classes throughout the week and different machines or strength training routines. An added benefit of changing up your routine is that you’ll lessen the risk for injury as you’re not always focusing on the same muscles.

  4. Don’t give up. Always remember that any activity is better than no activity. Structure your workouts so it’s doable for you. If something comes up one day and you have to shorten or eliminate your trip to the gym, try to incorporate more time into another day or find simple routines to do at home.

New Year’s comes and goes, but resolutions are made to stick. Whether or not you can make it to the gym each day, get in a walk around the neighborhood or quick routine in the living room, make a strong effort this year to stick with your fitness goals.

For more information about Cooper Fitness Center or to schedule a session with a professional fitness trainer, click here or call 972.233.4832.