Whether you’re brand new to exercise or it’s been forever since you last exercised regularly, we’ve got you covered with some ideas to get you started.
The most important thing to remember is that your consistency is much more important than your intensity or frequency, or, to some extent, even the duration of your exercise. We want to build a habit first, and then we can worry about building the rest. For the “all-or-nothing” types, this can be a hard fact to swallow – but we promise, this is the best approach.
So, just how do you get started? Here are some important steps in the getting started process, followed by some activity ideas to get you moving.
- Make sure you have the proper footwear (running shoes, even if you’re just getting started with walking, are recommended) and clothing that is appropriate for the season if you’re going to be outside.
Make the time!
- The time won’t make itself, so make sure you schedule your time just as you’d schedule an appointment.
- Treat yourself like you’d treat a client – don’t skip out on yourself and miss appointments!
- Find a convenient time and place to exercise. Recognize that no time is going to be the perfect time, but planning your exercise will make it dramatically easier than just hoping it happens. Even 10 minutes at lunch time is better than nothing, and, if you can do that daily, you’re off to an amazing start!
- Consider getting up a few minutes early to make sure it happens, before the day gets away from you.
- Gradually build up to 30 minutes on most days of the week. If you’re a true beginner, just start with 10 minutes and make sure that you’re consistent with that before adding in more time (remember…habit first!)
Make it Fun!
- SO IMPORTANT! The “make it fun” tip gets thrown out there a lot, but let’s keep it real, if you haven’t ever exercised or you haven’t exercised in a very long time, nothing may seem like “fun” (and it may seem closer to “intimidating”). If that’s the case, that’s ok (*totally* normal), but you still have to try, and do so with the knowledge that with time, exercise really does get easier and more fun. Try talking yourself through it, “I can do anything for 10 minutes,” or visualize how proud you’ll feel for completing your plan.
- So, DO try to choose something that you don’t despise, and preferably something you like, and keep in mind there are tons of activities that “count.” You don’t HAVE to run to exercise. Finding something that you can enjoy (or at least tolerate) is key to building a habit.
- Ask a family member, friend or coworker (or your teammates!) to join you. Having a partner increases accountability AND helps the time go by faster.
- Walk (a “brisk walk” is considered 3mph (or 20 minutes/mile) and is the easiest, most accessible exercise there is!)
- Play with your kids
- Lift weights
- Try an exercise class
- Play a team sport
- Walk the stairs at work
- Jump rope (much tougher than it was when you were a kid, but fun!)
- Go dancing
- Try yoga