A fitness program is one of the best things you can do for your health and body. However, starting one is a challenge. It is a lot easier to say, plan, and think about than actually doing it. Don’t worry for you are not alone. A good number of people worldwide struggle to exercise, despite their best intentions. But, the first step to starting any physical activity is to just do it. If questions like ‘how to start exercising’ constantly plague you, here are helpful tips and advice on how to enter that healthy lifestyle.
How To Start Exercising 101
There are great reasons to start exercising but for some reason, it’s very difficult to start working out and maintaining it. Practical issues like busy schedules and poor health are some of the factors why some people forego exercising but the most common is usually lack of confidence, easily discouraged, or lack of motivation. For beginners, exercising is confusing. What is the most effective set of exercises that works best with tummies? How about for the arms?
But just because you gave up once (or multiple times) or started late doesn’t mean the road to good health is impossible. Here, we have advice and tips on how to start exercising.
Know your ‘why’
People start to exercise and stop halfway for multiple reasons. One of the most common is losing motivation. To avoid this, you should know why you need to exercise. Your reason should be meaningful enough to help keep you motivated and push you forward. Maybe it’s for the improvement of your health (if you are suffering from a medical condition), or to boost your self-condition.
Fitness, exercising, and working out should be about you, your goals, and what feels right. Move at your own pace and don’t get pressured about what others are doing. Enjoy the progress and do what is best for your health and body.
Before you start working out, remember to check in with your doctor and ask for approval on your workout routine.
Determine your fitness levels
You know your body best and you probably have some idea of what you can do and how much exercise you can take. But assessing yourself and setting baseline fitness scores can help serve as a benchmark to see your progress.
To determine your fitness levels, you can record your data on the following:
- Your pulse rate before and after walking 1 mile (1.6 kilometers)
- How long it takes for you to walk 1 mile and run 1.5 miles (2.41 kilometers)
- How many standard or modified pushups you can do
- Your waist circumference (measure just about your hipbones)
- Knowing your body mass index
Rid the all-or-nothing attitude
For some, exercising means hours in the gym and painful activities that you need to endure for the sake of being healthy but it’s not all that. A little exercise is better than nothing. Mild stretching, a quick walk outside, and simple aerobics can have a profound effect on your emotional health.
For starters, you can always start with simple and basic exercises that you can do at home. That is still exercising. You need to steer away from the thought that you need to do what others are doing or else, you’ll never put the effort into exercising.
Create a fitness program
Think about it, say it, and write it down. Working out starts with a plan and you should design one that suits your goals and what your body can do. Here are some points to remember:
- What are your fitness goals?. Are you exercising to lose weight? Or are you preparing for a marathon? Knowing what your goals are can help you design your fitness program as well as keep you motivated.
- Create a balanced routine. It is recommended that you get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity in a week. It can also be a combination of both. Multiple working out guidelines also suggest that you spread out these minutes throughout the week. For greater health benefits, especially when you are trying to lose or maintain your weight, 300 minutes a week is recommended.
However, keep in mind that even a little amount of physical activity is helpful. If you don’t
much time in the day so fully commit to working out, short stretches, and exercises throughout the day can be health benefits already.
- Start slow. If you are just starting to exercise, it is highly recommended that you start slow and intensify your routine gradually. If you have an injury or a medical condition, always consult your doctor first before going through with it.
- Add exercise to your daily routine. As mentioned, exercising is a challenge if you are always running out of time. If work, school, or other obligations are already eating up your time, where can you even insert working out? But it pays if you include it in your daily routine. Just like how you’d schedule meetings or other activities, you should the same with exercising.
- Rest. One of the common mistakes beginners often make when they start exercising is going hard on the first few days and once the pain kicks in, they stop working out altogether. What’s recommended is to give your body rest or a recovery time between sessions.
Invest in gear
What gear you need depends on the fitness program you designed or recommended to you. But there are a few basic fitness gears you need, regardless of your workout program.
For starters, athletic shoes should be the first on your list. Before purchasing one, it is best to try a few more shoes and see which is the most comfortable. Next, you’ll need a snug and supportive sports bra and a few dri-fit or sweat-wicking pants or shirts. Cute and comfortable workout outfits do wonder in motivating you to exercise as well.
However, there’s no need to overthink. If all you have is a workout tank that does the job, it’ll do! Before splurging on workout outfits, look through your closet first and see what you already have. If you do need new ones, buy them off-season to save some money.
Take note of your progress
Do a fitness assessment six weeks after starting with your program and then again after a few months. This is where you’ll see if you achieve half of your goal (lost a notable amount of weight, for example), or notice that you need to increase your workout schedule to continue improving. Some might even find out that their current fitness program suits them best!
If you find yourself losing motivation, set new goals or try a different type of workout. You can also exercise with a friend or take a fitness class.