You Gotta Start Somewhere…

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.

Get Prepped!

  • 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.

Progress Slowly!

  • 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

Buddy Up!

  • 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.

Now What?

Get moving!

  • Run
  • Walk (a “brisk walk” is considered 3mph (or 20 minutes/mile) and is the easiest, most accessible exercise there is!)
  • Play with your kids
  • Swim
  • Bike
  • 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
7 Comments
  1. Having a strategy is critical to success. I have found it profoundly easier to have a “buddy” to workout with and keep accountable. Moreover, it helps including those in your close social circle to garnish continued support when you just want that “one” slice of cake.

  2. I lead a HIIT walking class 4 nights a week and during 4 days of the week, I lead a stretching, weight, and balance class. Weekends I like to do a 3 mile walk on my country road.

  3. While you are trying to talk yourself out of it your body really need you to do something. I am 54 female that has been lazy my whole life. I broke my femur in July and re broke in August and still recovering the first thing I learned is that your bones need to be moved so make sure that your exercise program is for the rest of your life but it is a life long commitment. I don’t mean, to make it more of sabotage because I’m behind myself. I just wanted you all know that it is more important than you realize.

  4. Another tip… offer to walk someone’s dog, if you don’t have one…its a commitment that you have to do…the dog will be very upset if you skip!! 🙂

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