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Getting Started

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Being more active does not mean you have to join the local gym or athletic club. Tips on how to get started with physical activity (PDF) include starting slowly, walking more, and increasing everyday activities like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Set goals and follow the F.I.T.T. (PDF) principle. Decide on one or two ways to increase your physical activity and write them down. Be realistic, set goals that you are likely to achieve and be sure to give yourself a time frame.

Keep a physical activity log (PDF). Often times simply writing something down provides the motivation you need to continue. My HealtheVet offers tools to help you track your exercise routine and food intake in the Journals section. Under Track Health, you can record and monitor your body weight and more in the Vitals & Readings section.

Ever feel like something always gets in the way of being physically active? Determine and address Barriers to Physical Activity (PDF). Common obstacles like bad weather, not enough time, fear of getting hurt etc. can often be overcome with better organization and planning.

If you are trying to manage your weight, consider joining the MOVE!® Weight Management Program for Veterans at your local VA medical center. Find out more.

If you have any health problems or medical concerns, you should talk with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program. Recording your personal and family history in the My HealtheVet Health History section will help you organize valuable information so your healthcare provider can help you get started. It is important to look at your food habits as they relate to you or your family. Make sure you record if you or a family member has diabetes, hypertension, colitis, allergies, gallbladder problems, or kidney disease, all of which can influence food choices. My HealtheVet has many tools to help you manage your healthcare. Start tracking your health today.

MOVE! Weight Management Program Handouts (PDF)

How do I get started with increasing my physical activity?

Set your Weight Loss Goals

F.I.T.T. - Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of Activity

Physical Activity/Pedometer Log

Step Conversions for Physical Activity

Barriers to Physical Activity

MOVE! Weight Management Program Link

MOVE! Weight Management Program

Updated January 2012