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SAN DIEGO, Calif. - April 17, 2002 – Many Americans have discarded their New Year resolutions to start exercising and get in shape. In honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, the American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, offers the following tips to help individuals start a new fitness program.

BE SPECIFIC: Specific goals are easier to stick with than vague resolutions like “I will exercise more.” Make a specific plan of action such as “I will go for a walk on Tuesday and Thursday, and take an exercise class on Monday and Friday.”

FIND AN EXERCISE PARTNER: There’s one in every crowd…someone who’ll stand at your office door in their workout clothes panting for you to take a lunchtime walk with them. Find someone who has a routine already established and let them know they are going to be your exercise guru for the next six months. Knowing how good it makes them feel, most exercise enthusiasts will jump at the opportunity to help an ambivalent exerciser get started on a regular routine.

BE REALISTIC: Be sure your action plan fits realistically into your lifestyle. Do you really have the energy to go out for that evening exercise class? Make changes as easy and convenient as possible.

USE VARIETY: Walk one day, go to the gym the next. Bring your kids to the park where they can play and you can take a brisk walk. Try a ballet or yoga class. Do something you enjoy and avoid activities you don’t. Strive for consistency, but don’t over do it.

DON’T FOCUS ON WEIGHT LOSS: Don’t let your weight be the index of your success - concentrate on moderate exercise and a healthy, low-fat diet.

GET HELP: Hiring a certified personal trainer to develop a program that will help you accomplish your fitness goals will save you time, and is money well spent. Half a dozen sessions spread out over three months will allow your personal trainer to monitor your progression and make modifications as needed. The American Council on Exercise offers free referrals to ACE-certified personal trainers anywhere in the country. Log onto for the name of a trainer near you.

During May, ACE will offer a free printout of these tips plus additional fitness information. Log onto the ACE Web site at and look for the National Physical Fitness and Sports Month banner.

About ACE The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at

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About ACE

Founded in 1985, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to America's health and wellbeing. Over the past 30 years, we have become an established resource for health and fitness professionals, and the public, providing comprehensive, unbiased research and validating ourselves as the country's trusted authority on health and fitness.

Today, ACE is the largest nonprofit health and fitness certification, education and training organization in the world with more than 58,000 certified professionals who hold more than 64,000 ACE Certifications. With a long heritage in certification, education, training and public outreach, we are among the most respected organizations in the industry and a resource the public has come to trust for health and fitness education.