Psychologist James Prochaska defines four stages we must go through to improve our attitude about exercise.

a. Precontemplation - Concerned but afraid to do anything.

b. Contemplation - Ambivalent, but acquiring more information.

c. Preparation - Taking the first step toward a change.

d. Action - Diving headlong into your new program.

A similar program, PACE (Physician based Assessment and Counseling for Exercise), is more specific. PACE describes a Precontemplator as one who does not exercise and does not intend to start. A Contemplator does not exercise but is thinking about starting. An Active individual trains moderately or vigorously several times a week.

The PACE program identifies several roadblocks and how to overcome them: Roadblock Overcome it.

1. No time Trade thirty minutes of TV for exercise three times per week.

2. No fun Start a hobby that keeps you moving.

3. Too tired Exercise energizes. Try it!

4. Boring Use headphones and look at scenery.

5. Get sore Start gradually and stretch aftereach workout.

What is your exercise passion? If you don't have one, search for it as if for the first time.

View every activity with a fresh perspective. The easiest way to enjoy an exercise program is to find one that complements you. Tennis players are sociable and spontaneous while weight trainers tend to be disciplined and aggressive. Runners may lack sociability and spontaneity, but they are extremely disciplined. Golfers are sociable and competitive, but may have little discipline.Yoga students are mentally focused but not very aggressive.

What are your characteristics and talents? Are you sociable or focused? Do you possess exceptional flexibility or strength? If you like to ski, try the Ski version of the traveling SportCord package. Test yourself. How many push-ups can you do? How many crunches? If you can do five pushups and five crunches, add one each week until you can do twenty pushups and twenty crunches. Maintain perfect form and move through a full range of motion. Time your breathing so you exhale on the exertion. Perform both push-ups and crunches without resting between repetitions.

Can you walk for thirty minutes? Walk ten minutes a day for a week. Each week add one minute until you are walking thirty minutes. Are you flexible? Stretch each day and measure your progress each month. In a year you may be surprised at your increased flexibility. Stretch gradually. Stretch after you warm-up and after you complete your workout. Stretch to the point of tension, never pain.

Reasons To Exercise:

1. You'll meet new friends.

2. You can exercise with your family.

3. Exercise improves your fitness and self-esteem.

4. Exercise helps you lose body-fat and tone muscles.

5. Exercise dissolves stress.

6. Exercise can be inexpensive and easy.