Have you seriously decided to get fit starting this year? And not just in eating healthy and drinking less alcohol but getting into a regular exercise regimen?
Then, congratulations! You’re making one of the best moves to kick off the year. Don’t worry if you have no idea where to start either—we’ve lined up tips for beginners in their journey to fitness.
1. HAVE A VISION OF YOUR FUTURE SELF AND COMMIT YOURSELF TO CHANGE.
Set a personal vision and commit to get fit. Internal motivations, including wanting to feel stronger or lose weight due to health conditions, can keep you in the long run more than external motivations such as looking good for your high school reunion.
Memorize fitness motivational quotes. Set up a vision board where you can post pictures showing what you envision your life to be, including your desired body type. Create a music playlist with songs that will motivate you to get moving.
HERE ARE SOME OPTIONS TO START YOUR VISION BOARD:
2. KNOW YOUR CURRENT FITNESS LEVEL.
Record your body mass index, waistline, how far you can bend forward and reach for your toes when seated on the floor, the time it takes for you to walk or run for a kilometer or a mile. The information will serve as your benchmarks when you begin charting your progress.
HERE ARE SOME OPTIONS TO TRACK YOUR PROGRESS:
3. CHOOSE A WORKOUT OR TRAINING STYLE YOU ENJOY.
What type of movements brings you joy? Is it dancing, biking, yoga, or a team sport? Go for a workout style that fits your lifestyle, including training you can do inside or just around your home.
4. SCHEDULE YOUR EXERCISE/WORKOUT TIME.
This may be easier when you’ve applied for a gym membership. However, if you’re working out by yourself, determine how you can exercise regularly within the day and week.
5. START WITH SMALL STEPS FIRST.
You can begin with just seven minutes a day then add one to two minutes to your workout time each week. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends about 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week for adults.
If your long-term goal is to be able to jog or run regularly, start with walking.
Invest in the right footwear to avoid any aches or pains. Take the stairs, do squats, and warm up before your walks. Aim for 30 minutes of walking each day or divide it in short increments within the day.
IDEAS TO HELP GET YOUR SWEAT ON:
You can start with equipment-free bodyweight workouts first: push-ups, lunges, planks, and jumping jacks. Mastering the movements will help you work out better with equipment.
You can also incorporate some lifting in your routine if you’re already doing regular cardio, yoga, or Pilates exercises.
Strength or Weight Training
Strength training involves lifting weights heavier than what you use in resistance training. Weight lifting can improve blood pressure, increase bone density, and help you burn more calories.
Check with Experts; Find a Buddy
Before you start your fitness program, be sure to get medical clearance if you have any special health considerations.
As a beginner you may also have to get expert advice from a coach or fitness professional for safety techniques, especially when you start using equipment. It’s also highly recommended that you find an exercise companion or someone you can be accountable to as you proceed with your fitness routine.
Note: Some of the images above are affiliate links and I earn a tiny commission if you purchase something from that link at no additional cost. The products that are linked are what I consider to be great options.