How to Start Working Out

Whether you are brand new to working out or coming back from a break, here are strategies that will help you begin working out AND stick with it so that you can reach your goals.

1. Start.

Start with anything, but keep it small for now. A walk (anywhere from 10-30 minutes) is a great place for almost everyone to start and, yes, it is enough. Start today. Start right now, if you can. Don’t wait for the perfect time/workout/workout buddy; just start.

Many people like to go all in on their first workout and overdo it, which guarantees that you won’t be back in your sneakers for a couple of weeks. So, please, set yourself up to succeed and let this first workout be tiny!

 

2. Work out because you want to be your best.

Working out, a.k.a. moving in a fun and beneficial way, is going to be a part of your life for a long time, hopefully forever! To make your habit stick, think about how much better you feel after you work out – that is the kind of motivation that will keep you coming back for more.

If you think of working out as punishment, drudgery, pain, suffering, and terror, you are probably not going to stick with it very long…but I want you to stay in the game for life! So, please, focus on how good you feel after your workout and….

 

3. Find something you love (or at least like) to do.

There are hundreds of different kinds of workouts. Sure, some are more effective or efficient than others, but as a beginner you have the luxury of seeing results from almost any movement that you add into your life! So don’t force yourself to work out in way that make you miserable – try new things until you find something (or maybe a few things!) that you actually enjoy doing. Even if you think you hate working out, there is something out there that you will enjoy.

 

4. Be patient.

Be patient with yourself: there are days you will miss workouts because of work/family/life and it’s okay! All is not lost. Just pick up where you left off tomorrow.

Be patient with your progress: the scale will not be the first tool to tell your story, and your body needs a little time to get used to the idea of working out. Don’t worry about what a motivational photo from Instagram says – it’s not about 21 days or 6 weeks or any set amount of time. If you keep going, you will get results! If you want results as quickly as possible, a personal trainer can be a great resource for a custom fitness program that is tailored just to you and your goals.

Be patient with your support team: some people in your life may not understand why you’re making changes, and some people may be afraid of change. Do what’s best for you anyway. With time, you will have all the support you need.

 

5. Keep it simple.

Don’t worry about a 30-day challenge or the thing from the infomercial or what your neighbor who lost “30 pounds in 3 weeks” did. Keep things simple so that you can succeed. Walking is always a great work out; when you’re ready to add in strength training, a few push-ups (on the wall is fine), lunges, and bicycle crunches go a long way.

Don’t plan too far ahead and don’t try to accomplish everything at once. Your results are on their way!


Even if you think I’m wrong, I know you can find some room in your life for movement – and find a way of moving that you will love. And, when you do, I would love to hear about it!

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