One of my core beliefs is that exercise can and should be fun most of the time. I know that some people will look at me like I am an alien for saying that, but those of us in the fitness field know this to be to true.

I was reminded of this by a couple in their early 60s who had not been exercising regularly but recently completed a six-month small-group exercise program. They tried to pull a quick one on me and tell me that golf was exercise, but besides our disagreement on this topic, they were surprised at how much they actually enjoyed their exercise program.

There are lots of ways to make exercise fun and enjoyable.

Here is a list of things I do with my clients to make sure they are having fun:

. Make sure the intensity of exercise is appropriate. Asking a 65-year-old, recently retired female who has not exercised in 20 years and wants to lose 20 pounds to jog on a treadmill and lift weights until she is blue in the face is not her idea of fun.

. Make sure there is variety in your program. I do not believe that an exercise program needs to be different every single day, but there should be changes to a program every four to six weeks, and workouts can vary within a week. For example, at my studio clients follow a Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 program. Each of these “days” is a different workout. These workouts repeat themselves for four to six weeks, and then they change.

. Set a goal, write it down, post it somewhere visible and make it publicly known. A properly designed goal will keep most people motivated.

. Follow an exercise program that gets you results in the first two to three weeks. The results do not need to be dramatic. It could be a couple of pounds or a slight increase in strength. When people see changes, they are motivated to continue.

. Exercise in a group. For many people, exercising in a group is more fun than exercising on their own. The social aspects, camaraderie, accountability and, for some, the competition are reasons that group exercise can be great.

. Find the right exercise leader. This can be a personal trainer or a group exercise instructor. There are all kinds of programs and personalities. The best ones can modify their style to meet a range of abilities and personalities, but keep in mind that not all approaches are for everyone.

While on vacationing this week. I was asked by someone why I exercised while on vacation. My response was pretty simple: “I have to, and I enjoy it.” I thought about this while I was out for a jog and realized how great it was to be exercising without the usual time constraints I have while being at home. I see vacations as a great way to get in more exercise, not less. Remember, it’s all about your mindset.

Here’s the update on my progress toward my goal of losing 25 pounds by Sept. 30: I am down 2.4 pounds after Week 1, and I have a great group of people joining me on the journey.