I'm the first person to preach about getting the most out of your exercise time. In most instances, I prefer total body strength workouts and I believe in performing cardio intervals rather than slow, steady state cardio. If you are not an experienced and knowledgeable exerciser, I advocate hiring a good fitness coach to teach you proper exercise form and to get you started on a balanced strength training routine.

All that being said, the bottom line is to start. Improve your nutrition and get moving. I would much rather see people do something rather than spending hours on the internet trying to decipher the "best" way to get in shape.

I constantly see people new to exercise posting questions on online forums such as:

* Which cardio machine is better for losing weight?

* Should I do cardio or strength training first?

* Should I do a total body or split routine?

* What ratio of carbs/protein/fats should I eat for fat loss?

* How many reps should I do per exercise?

* Is it true I'll burn more fat doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach?

* Which is better, exercising 4 times a week for 30 minutes per session or 3 times a week for 45 minutes?

The answers to some of those questions could definitely make a difference in your fat loss efforts but the possible difference in results will not rival the difference between doing something and doing nothing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn't ask questions and learn about something before you just jump in. However, some people take it to extremes. Because they read differing opinions, they are afraid of doing something "wrong" so they keep searching for the definitive program or the newest guru. Although most fitness professionals agree on more than they disagree on, there will always be differences of opinion.

So get moving. Let's face it, surfing the internet is not an activity that's going to help you shed excess fat. If it was, the majority of Americans would not be overweight.

Fitness pro, Alwyn Cosgrove, tells the story of a guy who bought one of his products and had a question about the weight he should use for a particular exercise complex. He sent a total of 9 emails over a weekend to Cosgrove, his gym, and the company that ships his products. The customer stated that he was very upset that no one had gotten back to him yet because he "really wanted to get started."

Had this gentleman just gone to the gym, used some common sense and started out with a light or moderate weight, he would been making progress. He wouldn't have injured himself and he could have simply increased the resistance if the exercise was too easy. Instead, he sat around for 4 days waiting for a response. Even if he had ended up doing the complexes with a weight that wasn't challenging enough, he would have been closer to his goal than he got by doing nothing.

Start today. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Start walking and doing some body weight exercises. As your healthy lifestyle becomes more of a habit, you can tweak your nutrition and exercise routine to make them more effective. But for now just...

Do something.

Author's Bio: 

Mickey Glick is the owner of Body & Soul Fitness Studio, an all-women fitness center in Lancaster, PA. She has worked in the fitness industry since 1995 and is a certified personal trainer.

Body & Soul offers both strength and cardiovascular training equipment in a comfortable, supportive environment. Due to the emphasis on health and well-being rather than body image, members include women of all ages, shapes, sizes and exercise experience levels. Each new member is designed a workout program based on her individual goals, current fitness level, schedule, experience, and physical limitations.

Personal training is available to both members and non-members.