If you need something to get you started or keep you going on an exercise program, try some of these suggestions:
Make it a habit. Be determined to get in the habit of exercise. You’ll feel better when you do, and it’s a great break from the other things you have going in your life. Aim for six days a week. Then if things come up that interfere occasionally, you can still average four days, which is a pretty good schedule for maintaining your fitness.
Choose something you like. If you hate to jog but love to dance, then set aside a certain time each day or every other day when you can turn the music up and exercise. Or if you hate the monotony of doing the same thing every day, plan a variety of activities to get your exercise. Walk one day; bike the next. If you like the exercise you have chosen to do, you’ll have a better chance of doing it regularly.
Don’t get discouraged. Achieving fitness takes time. Keep at it and you’ll improve a little each day. Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t go as long or as hard as you think you should. In fact, you shouldn’t push too hard; it may cause injuries.
Forget the phrase “no pain, no gain.” Your exercise program should not cause you pain. If it does, slow down or change to another type of exercise. You should build your endurance gradually and avoid all types of injury.
Set reasonable goals. If your goal is to exercise for 30 minutes, then start out at 15 minutes and add 5 minutes each week. If your goal is to run a mile, start out alternating running and walking that distance.
Try the buddy system. If you don’t like exercising alone, do it with a friend. Plan your exercise schedule with a buddy. You can motivate each other to keep it up.
During the past four years, three of the student association presidents of John Marshall High School in Rochester, New York, have been members of the Rochester Second Ward. This is unusual because in this large high school of 1500, there are never more than 6 or 7 LDS students each year.
Jenifer Toner started the trend by becoming president in her junior year. Two years later, Mark Cross was voted in as president. Carolyn Baker, a member of the Rochester First Ward, was secretary that year as a sophomore. The next year David Toner served as president in his sophomore year.
All four have worked part-time after school and participated in other school activities, sports, and Young Men or Young Women leadership positions.
Eric Hatch is many things at his high school, including student-body president and a starter on the varsity football and wrestling squads. But the most important thing to him is his role as a missionary. He is serious about his commitment to the gospel and frequently invites friends from school to attend Church services, seminary, or youth activities with him.
Eric also organized volleyball and swimming every Tuesday night last summer. He and his friends from the ward had a place to bring their nonmember friends in an atmosphere of fun and friendship. As a result of Eric’s involvement in missionary work, two of his friends have been baptized and several more are taking the discussions. Eric also served as first assistant in his priests quorum in the Yorba Linda Second Ward, Placentia California Stake.
Adam and Josie Cumming of Blanchard, Michigan, are the first brother and sister duo to win first place in the junior and senior divisions of the Voice of Democracy essay contest. Although the competition involves several school districts, Adam and Josie each came in first.
Adam won the senior division with an original radio play. He served as the teachers quorum president in his ward and enjoys computers, ham radio, and running track.
Josie won the junior division with her essay. She served as the Mia Maid class president and enjoys art, music, reading, and crafts.
The youth of the Ammon Fifth Ward, Idaho Falls Idaho Ammon Stake, planned and prepared for a single day of service that made a big difference to one member in their ward. They chose as their project to repair, paint, and landscape the home of a single mother in their ward. Three months of planning and preparation went into the project before the big Saturday arrived. Committees were organized to take care of painting, landscaping, pouring cement, carpentry, and food for the work crews. Before the youth arrived, the home was prepared by having old paint scraped off and primer put on, building new cupboards and getting them ready to install, and pouring the garage floor.
By seven on the morning of the super Saturday of service, over 100 youth and leaders arrived on the scene. The street was alive with activity. Painting went quickly with ten young people to each side of the house. Other groups were loading rocks and pulling weeds from the yard. Under the supervision of adult leaders, some trees were cut down and others pruned. Another group of boys were on the roof putting new tar paper down.
After a 30-minute lunch break with food prepared by the Laurels, they were back at work. Top soil was hauled in, smoothed, and prepared for planting. Then the landscape committee planted the new lawn, trees, evergreens, and flowers. Wood chips were added as a finishing touch. After all that hard work, the irrigation canal nearby was too much of a temptation, and the work crews took a quick dip. A few more hours completed the installation of new carpet and counter tops before the cleanup crew removed all traces of debris. The group had time for a swim before dinner was prepared by the Laurels. They had fun and learned the sweetness of service when it comes from the heart.
Tom Ransom, presently a deacon in the Heather Ridge Ward of the Arapahoe Colorado Stake, was named the Most Valuable Player of the AAU National Championship Baseball Tournament in the 12-year-olds category. Tom participated in the national tournament with his team from Taylorsville, Utah, prior to moving with his parents to Colorado. Tom pitched a shutout in the championship game.
Melinda Hatch of the Lake of the Pines Ward, Auburn California Stake, never missed a single morning of early-morning seminary in four years. She achieved her perfect record and maintained excellent grades and a full slate of activities in high school.
Melinda ran with the cross-country track team. She was elected Homecoming queen. In her ward she served as the president of her Beehive and Mia Maid classes and as counselor in her Laurel class presidency.
Daniel Baker of the Republic Branch, Colville Washington Stake, was awarded a medal and certificate from the Boy Scouts of America for his action in saving his younger brother’s life.
Dan’s two-year-old brother was choking on a piece of carrot and was unable to breathe. Dan, an Eagle Scout, used the Heimlich maneuver that he had learned in Scouts to help his brother.
In high school, Dan served as the student body vice-president, junior class president, and as president of his seminary class. He also received awards for being the outstanding history student and choir member of his school.
In his branch, Dan served as president of his priests quorum. In his spare time he enjoys hunting and fishing.
Michelle Bench of the Saratoga First Ward, Saratoga California Stake, plays with the California Youth Symphony. She participated with the symphony when they performed concerts in Germany and Austria. Michelle plays both the viola and violin.
When she is not performing with the symphony, she plays for weddings, receptions, and church services.
In addition to her music, Michelle is a member of concert choir at her high school and is also on the diving team. In her ward she has served as secretary of her Laurel class and attends early-morning seminary.
Stephanie Nygaard, a Beehive in the Spokane 24th Ward, Spokane Washington Stake, was selected as the outstanding student of the year at her school.
Stephanie played on a school volleyball team that took first place in its division and she maintained straight A grades.
Musically, Stephanie received superior ratings for her piano performances for the past four years from the Washington State Music Teachers Association. She also accompanies two different choruses at school.
Stephanie served as secretary in her Beehive class and sings in the ward choir.
Judy Mauch may have been the only LDS student in her school, but she didn’t let that stop her from being a friend to everyone.
Judy was a cheerleader through her high school years, and received the School Spirit Award for two years in a row. During her senior year, she received the honor of being named Miss Kinston, Miss Congeniality, Homecoming Queen, and Miss Kinston High School. Never before in the history of Kinston had one girl won all four titles. The Miss Congeniality Award was especially important to Judy because it was awarded by her peers.
A member of the Enterprise Ward, Dothan Alabama Stake, Judy served as a class officer in every class of Primary and Young Women. Since turning 18, she attends Relief Society and serves as a teacher in the Primary.