How to Start Working Out When You Haven't In a While (Or Ever)
Updated: Feb 8
Finding an exercise program that works for you—and really sticking with it—can be quite challenging.
Starting a regular fitness routine can seem frightening and overwhelming if you haven't worked out consistently in the past or if you haven't laid out your training mat for some weeks (or months, or maybe even years!). As a result, you might decide against beginning a routine at all.
But it doesn't have to be that way; you simply need to know where to start. There are a ton of internet possibilities and at-home equipment options available.
Whatever your preferred method of movement, use this as a guide to work up a nice sweat and keep coming back for more. Here are some tips on how to begin exercising, whether it has been a while or you are brand-new to it.
Discover what drives you.
It's a good idea to figure out what motivates you to work out in the first place before you begin exercising. Maybe you're motivated to exercise because you want to keep up with the kids, feel better in your body, relieve stress, or a combination of all three. Simply consider your "why" and keep returning to it whenever you feel your resolve flagging.
Determine what it is that you truly enjoy doing.
Finding movement you genuinely enjoy is the key to consistency, which is the key to seeing benefits from your workouts. And it can take some trying to find that delight in exercising.
Take a piece of paper and a pen, and make a note of all the prospective new, unique, or previously cherished activities you've done. This list will help you choose the kind of exercise that makes you happy. Then, give three of them a shot each week. Without thinking too much, decide whether you liked the workout after each one. Mark it off the list if it isn't.
Look to your network of supporters.
You don't have to tackle an exercise regimen on your own when you first start it. While there are many online options for joining courses or working out with a trainer, finding a partner to move with you is also very useful to your enjoyment level and your commitment.
Of course, it might still be difficult to arrange to meet up with someone for a workout right now, but you can contact a friend and talk to them as you walk along or join up for the same virtual class as your friend so you can chat throughout or after.
Set attainable objectives.
You should begin with a realistic and repeatable workout program if you want to make a change by starting to exercise and continuing to do so. The wise course of action is to start off cautiously and then gradually increase your degree of commitment. This means that you should start considerably smaller nd build up your regimen as you go along.
Consider the payoffs.
Consider the idea of cost and pay-off if your desire to exercise is flagging or if you need something to inspire you once more. Consider the advantages and drawbacks of your activity. What are the advantages you are obtaining from it? Also take into account the cost of not exercising frequently, as well as any benefits.
Don't discount quick or light workouts.
Your workouts don't have to last an hour. If 20 minutes is the only time you have, use it to get a terrific workout in. Additionally, every time you start working out, you don't have to work up a serious sweat and get your heart racing.
Additionally, if you're just beginning, using merely your bodyweight for workouts is a wise choice rather than immediately adding weighted motions. Our bodies pick up new skills via repetition, and when you're starting with your own weight, you develop a greater perception, or sensation of where your body is in space, as well as a stronger sense of appropriate form.
Gradually increase the time or frequency.
Starting off slowly will not only help you gain confidence, but it will also help your body adjust to the new level of exercise. You'll be able to prevent burnout. Even if you're eager to start working out again after a long break, take it slow and don't push yourself too hard. Be cautious and watchful to maintain control of your mental enthusiasm and desire to match your physical capabilities.
Overall, be patient with yourself.
If you've taken a vacation from exercising for a while, don't assume that you'll remain in the same place. Be kind with yourself and give yourself time to return to your previous state or your desired state. Be proud of yourself even if you're only getting started.
It's hard to know where you'll end up, but you just have to start! So get going!
The information provided on the site is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice.
Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you're seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.