If you are wondering how to start working out and you feel overwhelmed keep reading.
For those just starting out, a workout routine can be daunting. However, with the right mindset and approach, anyone can embrace the benefits of a healthier, more active lifestyle.
How to start working out – 4 important steps
In this guide, we will explore the essential steps and considerations for beginners to successfully start working out and forming an exercise routine that you will stick to long term.
#1 Evaluate your baseline
Everyone is different, and the best way to get started with a workout routine that you’ll actually stick to is by considering the steps below.
The first thing to consider is your current fitness level. Sometimes, initial motivation leads us to go too intense right at the start. This often leads to overtraining and, therefore, takes all the fire out of the motivation.
Then, you need to look at long-term goals. If you want to lose weight, your programming will look a little different than someone who just wants to improve cardio.
You can set a long-term goal for one year and then break this goal into smaller short-term goals by month or week. Then, you can see if your goal is achievable.
Also, consider what has worked in the past. Which workout did you stick to for longer? Which workout was fun? Why did you stop?
Maybe a group setting was what made you stick to it, or having other social support. Maybe the class stopped, or you experienced injury or sickness and had to stop but never made it back.
Looking back at past experiences can really help in planning a workout routine that you will stick to long term.
Another obstacle to consider is simply the knowledge of working out. Maybe you don’t know how to do exercises properly or which exercises to do. If this is you, don’t be discouraged.
Getting information and education about proper training is an important step in getting started with working out.
Even though you are not actually working out yet, this phase is a large part of progress already.
If you don’t have a history of successful training programs and you are a beginner, I suggest checking YouTube for beginner workout videos and simply trying different workouts.
You can choose yoga, Pilates, dancing, and more to see which one brings the most fun.
You can also check classes in your area and see if they allow drop-ins before committing. This way, you will experience different classes first without committing for weeks yet, and you are able to pick the one that was most fun.
Another aspect to consider is your time. It is essential to see when and how much time you have. You may have 10 minutes on Monday morning but 60 minutes on Wednesdays in the evening. This knowledge is important to find different workouts that fit these time limits.
For example, your workout on Monday could be a brisk walk in the morning, and on Wednesday, you could join a class or do a 60-minute YouTube workout.
Beginner workouts to consider:
- 30-Day Walking Challenge
- Build The Basics Program
- Wall Exercises for Abs
- Workout for Obese Beginner
- 10 Pilates Workouts for Beginners
- 10-Minute Workout for Beginners
#2 Make a plan
It is a good idea to write down some ideas and thoughts from step one. Based on that, you can jot down some action steps you are willing to take.
This can include: finding classes online or locally, seeking a fitness buddy, looking for fitness plans online, and setting short-term goals.
Short-term S.M.A.R.T goals can be as easy as: “I will walk 1 mile two times a week.”
In this step, you can set reminders to contact a friend or sign up for a class. You can browse the internet and create a collection of fitness programs or videos to try in the following weeks.
Check your schedule to see when these workouts would fit. It is important to ensure the workout is easy to start and fits easily into your day. Removing any barriers that would make it harder to work out is a significant part of sticking to a routine.
For example, this can be packing a gym bag and leaving it in your car so you can go to the gym right after work. This way, you are already out, and going to the gym just kind of integrates into the flow. If you go home first, you might have a harder time getting back out.
Now that you have a plan, start preparing. Maybe you’ve chosen a workout-at-home routine that requires equipment, so you have to buy some of the equipment.
Check when you will have everything available, then schedule your workouts. You can use Google Calendar, which is a free tool, and input your workouts. You can also add the link to your workout if you are doing an online workout.
Next, set reminders. Whether you need to be reminded 15 minutes before or the day before, you can set phone reminders or email reminders.
Sometimes we have to set a reminder to prepare for the workout. This can be something like setting a reminder to pack the gym bag and putting it into the car the night before. Or placing walking shoes in front of the door to remind you to take a walk right as you come home.
After trying what you have planned for a few weeks, it is time to assess. Are you enjoying what you are doing? Is this something you can stick to long term? Are you reaching the goals you have set?
If you feel like the approach has not been working for you, don’t be discouraged. It may take some time to figure out what works for you long term.
Then you can check if you are reaching the goals you have set. Maybe you set your expectations too high or too low, and you need to adjust expectations.
Don’t lose motivation if you feel like you haven’t met your goal. It just means that you need to try different approaches.
Maybe you need to find a different time during the day or a different type of workout. It can take some time to get to know yourself and your body, but the “figuring out” phase is still progress, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
FAQ – How to start working out
If you don’t have any experience with exercise, it is a good idea to join classes with a trainer. The trainer can make sure you do the exercises properly. You can also consider getting a personal trainer. If you want to start out at home, try beginner-friendly workouts that you can find online.
Starting to work out after a long break requires a gradual and mindful approach. Begin with a self-assessment of your current fitness level and set realistic goals. Initiate your comeback with low-intensity exercises like brisk walks or light cardio to ease back into physical activity. As you regain strength and stamina, progressively increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Listen to your body, prioritize proper warm-ups and cool-downs, and consider seeking guidance from a fitness professional if needed. Remember, consistency is key, and celebrating small milestones along the way will keep you motivated.
If you need the extra push, having a friend to do the workout with can be great motivation. It is also helpful to pick an exercise that motivates you. You can have the best workout plan in the world, but if you can’t motivate yourself to do this type of exercise, it is still worthless to you. A workout routine that you look forward to doing is the one that will actually help you exercise long-term and reach your goals.