Getting Started

Congratulations! Just taking a look at this information is a step toward a healthier lifestyle. If you’re not already involved, and are considering a new physical activity, what do you do next? You might ask yourself these questions.

When Choosing a Physical Activity

What activity will I enjoy and be likely to continue?
Remember its consistent exercise over time that provides the most benefit.

Is it safe for my particular health situation?
If you have any questions, ask your doctor for an assessment. Many health plans allow for wellness visits. Check with your insurance provider.

Do I have the right clothing or equipment?
In walking, for instance, an investment in good comfortable shoes can make all the difference in whether you enjoy and continue the activity.

How complicated or expensive is it?
Some activities may require a substantial investment in training time or money. Consider equipment rental and introductory classes to get a feel for whether these activities are right for you.

Who can I talk to about the activity?
Activities listed below will have links, when possible, to local groups who support the activity. Check them out and ask lots of questions.

I have chronic pain. Exercise hurts!
There is mounting evidence that appropriate exercise can actually be an important tool in managing chronic pain. Talk to your doctor about how exercise might fit in to your treatment plan.

Nutrition and Basic Health

Is my weight a concern?
Try the Body Mass Indicator calculator in the Eating Well section or ask your doctor for advice. Remember that your weight may be a factor in determining the safest type, or level, of activity to begin with.

Is my current diet affecting my health?
Think not only in terms of weight but in overall health.

If change is needed where can I get help?
Here again, talking to your doctor is a great place to start. See the Eating Well section for links to additional information.

What if I have diabetes?
Exercise is an essential part of managing diabetes. Check with your doctor and take a look at the American Diabetes Association website. With today's improved monitoring diabetics are even competing in marathons and triathlons.

Do I need to quit smoking?
You’ve heard about the effects on your lungs and your heart. Did you know it also affects your body’s ability to resist, and recover from, injury? Click here for more information on smoking and injury.

More Information

Here on campus you can talk to the folks at the WWU Wellness program. They are happy to help.

For all state employees
In response to the Governor’s Directive on Employee Wellness the website Washington Wellness was launched. This website provides health information and opportunities specifically for state employees, retirees, and their dependents.

Track your progress! Win prizes!
The Washington Health Foundation
aims to make Washington the Healthiest State in the Nation. You can participate in the effort and track your personal progress by registering with their website. Click on the link above and log in as an individual Champion. There are competitions during the year and prizes available. More information is available at the website.

For additional information on Getting Started as well as links to lots of good information on exercise see Professor Gordon Chalmers’ website.

Page Updated 08.06.2012