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how to get started with exercise

by Heather

Today I am excited to answer a question I get asked a lot as a group fitness instructor: how do I get started with exercise?  Not, how do I get more out of my workouts?  Or how do I stay motivated?  But really, what are the steps on how to get started with exercise?

Well friends, today we are diving into that!

Everyone has a starting point.  Whether it be with exercise, a healthy eating journey, reading a book… there is always point A. Let’s start at point A with fitness and dive into how to get started with exercise.

how to get started with exercise

How to get started with exercise

We’re going to go through 4 steps on getting you ready and going with exercise.  Whether that means a walking program, strength training, being more active in sports, yoga or group classes, I want you to feel empowered to move your body.  Because movement, whatever that looks like, is what our bodies need and crave.

Step 1: Assess your fitness level

First, take a look at your current fitness level.  How active are you?  Maybe a little, maybe not at all, or maybe a lot!  I encourage you to look at it with no judgements.  But instead, just state to yourself your current activity level.  Maybe you write it down on a piece of paper.

Take note of how much you walk during the day, how active your job is, tasks you do around the house and any exercise you have done in the past month when assessing your fitness and activity level.

Step 2: Decide on your goals and movement

Now that we’ve noted our starting point, let’s think about what we want our movement to look like.  Here are some questions to ask yourself. Again, write it down if that’s helpful for you!

  • What kind of exercise or movement do you want to add in?
  • How often and for how long do you want to exercise each week?
  • What exercise do you enjoy or have tried in the past and liked?
  • What exercise have you not tried but are curious about?
  • Are you training for something in particular (like a race)?

Step 3: Start slow

Now that you’ve identified how often you want to workout, what kinds of exercise you like or want to try, let’s get that into action.  This is the fun part – moving!

Let’s bring an example into play. Say you want to start walking, strength training and yoga.  What a great mix if I do say so myself!  You want to workout 4 days a week with a goal of 30 minutes a day.  If you’re going from zero to 30 minutes, that could feel like a huge jump.  Yes, totally doable, but if you are just starting out, I want to encourage you to start slow.

For the first week, start with 10 minutes of exercise 4 days a week.  That could look like:

  • Monday 10 minutes of brisk walking
  • Tuesday 10 minutes of lower body strength training (think squats and lunges!)
  • Thursday 10 minutes of yoga (yoga ideas)
  • Saturday 10 minutes of upper body strength training

If that first week felt doable, the next week add 5-10 more minutes to the length of your workouts.  Continue doing that and by 3-5 weeks you will be at your goal of 30 minutes of exercise, 4 days a week.  That is amazing!

You may notice that the workouts are spread out with rest days in between.  That is a great thing to do, especially when you include strength training into your workout plan to give your muscles at least 1 day in between the workouts to rest and recover.

Step 4: Repeat and stay consistent

With exercise, and really anything health and wellness related, consistency is key.  Sure there will be weeks that are off, but if you keep coming back week after week, you will find that exercise becomes more fun, you feel great when you move and I hope you feel good that you are taking care of yourself and becoming healthier overall!

How to get started with exercise

I hope this gives you a jump start in your question on how to get started with exercise!

I would love to know how YOU got started with exercise.  Did you jump into a program, or ease your way in?  What are your favorite ways to move?



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