Exercise for Beginners - Where to Start if You're a Beginner

Here's Where to Start

Woman lifting weights
Getty Images/Mike Harrington

Beginning a workout program, whether it's to get fit or lose weight, it can be overwhelming.  It seems simple - You need to exercise, right?  But there are more questions than that.  The word 'exercise' encompasses any number of definitions - Cardio, strength training, yoga, Pilates, and so on.  With all that swirling in your mind, how do you know where to start?

Common Questions Beginners May Have About Exercise

The most common questions I get are:

I'm going to help you answer all of these questions and you'll find, with a little planning, you can set up the right exercise program that fits you - Your fitness level, your goals, and your lifestyle.

Here's Where to Start

Below are the basic steps you need to set up a workout routine you can actually stick with.

  • Set your goals - I know, most of us think we should have a weight loss goal and, there's nothing wrong with that.  However, weight loss goals don't always have much staying power, since weight loss can be very slow.  Think of other goals like completing a certain number of workouts or getting in some kind of activity each day - active goals you can actually measure.
  • Figure out how to meet your goals with an exercise program - I can give you a big hint here: Whatever your goal is - Get healthy, lose fat, gain muscle, etc. - You're going to need at least two things:  Cardio exercise and strength training. The difference is how much you do of each.  Here are some basic guidelines for each of those goals
    • To Get Healthy -
    • To Maintain Weight
    • To Lose Weight
  • Start with a Basic Program - No matter what your goal is, you have to start where you are, which is at the beginning.   Here's the simplest way to start:  Walking about 3-5 days a week, working up to 30 minutes and a simple strength routine a couple of times a week.
  • Work to Stay Motivated - No doubt, exercise is work and you have to continually keep yourself going, even when things get tough - and they will always get tough.  Motivation doesn't grow on trees, nor does it just appear each day when you wake up.  Your mind will argue with you about following through with your workouts - don't lose that argument.

    Great Beginner Resources

    I've given you a basic framework to go by, but maybe you want a little more - Something more structured that you can follow, someone who will tell you exactly what to do.  I have a variety of resources that will give you just that.  Just pick your poison and let's get started!

    Pick your poison and let's get moving!

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