Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Soon after you start exercising, you’ll begin to see and feel the benefits that physical activity can have on your body and well-being.
However, working exercise into your routine takes a lot of determination, and sticking to it in the long term requires discipline.
If you’re considering starting to exercise but don’t know where to begin, this article is for you. Here’s all you need to know about starting a routine and sticking to it.
And that’s not all — it can also help you maintain good energy levels (9).
In short, exercise is powerful and can change your life.
Summary: Exercise can improve mental function, reduce your risk of chronic disease and help you lose weight.
Common Types of Exercise
There are various types of exercise, including:
- Aerobic: Usually the core of any fitness program, it includes periods of continuous movement. Examples include swimming, running and dancing.
- Strength: Helps increase muscle power and strength. Examples include resistance training, plyometrics, weight lifting and sprinting.
- Calisthenics: Basic body movements done without gym equipment and at a medium aerobic pace. Examples include lunges, sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups.
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT): Includes repetitions of short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by low-intensity exercises or rest periods.
- Boot camps: Timed-based, high-intensity circuits that combine aerobic and resistance exercises.
- Balance or stability: Strengthens muscles and improves body coordination. Examples include Pilates, tai chi poses and core-strengthening exercises.
- Flexibility: Aides muscle recovery, maintains range of motion and prevents injuries. Examples include yoga or individual muscle-stretch movements.
The activities above can be done individually or combined. The important thing is to do what suits you best and to have fun with it.
Summary: Common types of exercise include aerobic, strength, calisthenics, HIIT, boot camps, flexibility and stability. You can do them individually or combined.
How to Get Started
It’s important to consider a few things before you start an exercise routine.
1. Check Your Health
It’s important to consult your doctor and get a physical medical examination before starting an exercise routine.
This is particularly important for those who are not used to strenuous physical activities, as well as individuals aged 45 and over.
An early checkup can detect any health problems or conditions that could put you at risk of an injury during exercise.
It can also help you optimize your workout, making it easier for you and your personal trainer to understand your limitations and create an exercise plan tailored to your particular needs.
2. Make a Plan and Set Realistic Goals
Once you decide to start exercising regularly, try to create a plan that includes attainable steps and goals.
One way to do this is to start with a plan of easy steps to follow. Then you can continue building on it as your fitness level improves.
For example, if your goal is to finish a five-kilometer run, you can start by building a plan that includes shorter runs.
Once you are able to finish those short runs, increase the distance until you can run the whole five kilometers continuously.
Starting with small goals will not only increase your chances of success, it will also keep you motivated every step of the way.
3. Make It a Habit
Another key component of exercise success is to stick to your routine.
It seems to be easier for people to maintain an exercise routine in the long term if they make it a habit and do it regularly (10).
A review of studies concluded that replacing an unhealthy behavior with a new healthy habit is a great approach to maintaining it in the long term (10).
Furthermore, making a schedule or exercising at the same time every day are good ways to sustain your routine and make it last.
For example, you can make exercise a habit by planning to work out right after work every day.
Summary: Before you start working out, get a health check-up and make a plan with realistic goals. Then, make exercise a habit by incorporating it into your daily routine.
How Much Exercise Should You Do?
You don’t need to be a high-performance athlete or used to working out for hours to start exercising today.
These 150 minutes can be configured any way you want. For example, you can do a 30-minute workout five times a week or a 35 to 40-minute workout every other day.
However, recent studies have shown that packing this minimum requirement into one or two training sessions per week can be as beneficial as spreading the sessions throughout the week (12).
Overall, it’s important to start slowly and increase the intensity as you build your fitness level up.
Lastly, even though a daily amount of physical activity is needed for good health, allowing your body to rest is important too.
Not letting your body recover from the stress of exercise increases the risk of injuries, such as muscle strains and stress fractures, and can result in overtraining syndrome (OTS).
Summary: The minimum recommendation for exercise is at least 150 minutes per week. However, it is important to start slowly and let your body rest from time to time.
One-Week Sample Exercise Program
Below is an easy-to-follow, one-week exercise program that does not require equipment and will only take you 30–45 minutes a day to complete.
This program can be adjusted to your fitness level and made as challenging as you want.
Monday: 40-minute moderate-pace jog or brisk walk.
Tuesday: Rest day.
Wednesday: Walk briskly for 10 minutes. Then, complete the following circuits, resting 1 min. after each set but not between exercises. Stretch afterward.
- Circuit #1: 3 sets alternating 10 lunges for each leg, 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups
- Circuit #2: 3 sets alternating 10 chair-dips, 10 jumping jacks, 10 air-squats
Thursday: Rest day.
Friday: 30-minute bike ride or moderate-pace jog.
Saturday: Rest day.
Sunday: Run, jog or take a long walk for 40 minutes.
The one-week program above is just a simple sample to get you started. For more workout ideas and plans, check out the following links:
- 9 quick total body workouts that you can do anywhere (no equipment necessary)
- Workout plans targeting specific body parts and for various skill levels
- 7 beginner workouts for various goals and body parts
- Workouts for your specific body type
Summary: There are a variety of exercises you can do, and the plan above is just one example to help get you started working out.
A Few Tips for Beginners
1. Stay Hydrated
Drinking fluids throughout the day is essential for maintaining healthy hydration levels.
2. Optimize Your Nutrition
Be sure to consume a balanced diet to support your fitness program.
Carbs are also important after exercise to replenish glycogen stores and assist the absorption of amino acids into your muscles during recovery (17).
Additionally, protein protects your muscles from breaking down during exercise, repairs tissue damage and builds muscle mass. Consuming some protein after your workout also promotes fast muscle recovery (17, 18).
Lastly, regularly consuming healthy fats has been shown to help burn body fat and preserve muscle fuel during workouts, making your energy last longer (20).
3. Warm Up
It can also improve your flexibility and help reduce soreness after your workout (22).
Simply start your workout with some aerobic exercises like arm swings, leg kicks and walking lunges.
Alternatively, you can warm up by doing easy movements of the exercise you are planning to do. For example, walk before you run.
4. Cool Down
Cooling down is also important because it helps your body return to its normal state.
Some cool-down ideas include light walking after aerobic exercise or stretching after resistance training.
5. Listen to Your Body
If you’re not used to working out every day, be mindful of your limits.
If you feel pain or discomfort while exercising, stop and rest before continuing. Pushing through the pain is not a good idea, as it can cause injuries.
Also, remember that working out harder and faster is not necessarily better.
Taking your time to progress through your fitness program can help you maintain your routine in the long term and make the most of it.
Summary: Be sure to stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, warm up before exercising, cool down afterward and listen to your body.
How to Stay Motivated
The key to staying motivated and making exercise a habit is to have fun while doing it. This allows you to not dread having to exercise.
Like the sample exercise program shown above, you can mix up activities while keeping it fun for you.
Joining a gym or group fitness class like yoga or Pilates, hiring a personal trainer or doing team sports are also good ideas to increase motivation and enjoyment (24).
Working out as a group or with a friend can also assist in maintaining accountability and motivate you to keep up your good work.
Furthermore, tracking your progress, such as logging your weight lifting or noting your running times, can help keep you motivated to improve your personal records.
Summary: To maintain your motivation, mix up your workouts, join a gym or team sport and track your progress.
The Bottom Line
Starting a new exercise routine can be challenging. However, having real objectives can help you maintain a fitness program in the long term.
There are many different types of physical activity to choose from. Find a few that work for you and be sure to vary them occasionally.
The goal is to start slowly, build up your fitness level and let your body rest from time to time to prevent injuries.
Keeping track of your progress or joining a fitness group can help you stay motivated and achieve your goals. It’s also important to eat a healthy diet and hydrate regularly.
So, what are you waiting for? Start exercising today!
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.