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Exercising for beginners

Posted on 30 April 2021


Whatever stage you’re at, it’s all about creating a routine that works for you. But getting started is the hardest bit – how do you build new habits if you don’t know where to begin? Here are some tips to help you make exercise part of your daily routine.

If you haven’t exercised for a while or have an underlying health condition, you may want to check with your GP first.

1. Motivation

Before you start anything new you have to want to actually start! Examine your reasons:

  • Do I want to improve my health and feel better day to day? For example, feeling less out of breath when climbing stairs.
  • Is it important to set a good example for my kids?
  • Do I need to feel less stressed and sleep better?
  • Do I want to improve my confidence?
  • Do I want to have fun and use exercise as part of my social life?

Maybe it’s all of the above - but make sure you write down your motivations to refer to when you are tired and feel like giving up.

2. Timing

We all lead busy lives and exercise can fall down the priority list – the key is making time in your diary that you can’t miss. Check out our article Making time for exercise for tips.

And be sure to pick something you enjoy! Exercise shouldn’t be about trying to punish yourself. The best form of exercise is the one you love and want to keep doing.

3. Have a goal

This links to your motivation but is more specific. For example, your motivation may be to get fitter, so your goal is completing the NHS Couch to 5K running plan, doing three runs a week for nine weeks.

Or your goal could just be to make progress every session; like being able to do one more push up, or swim one more length of the pool. Start every workout with a plan – know how long you are training for and what you want to achieve from that session.

4. Track your progress

Having concrete goals will help you stay on track. Create a chart and tick off exercise sessions once completed. It’s important to keep notes of what you achieve each week so you can see your progress, even if initially the changes seem small.

5. Be realistic

You won’t see changes in the mirror overnight. The important thing is to keep showing up and trust that in time you’ll feel the difference.

And we all have bad days from time to time. If you miss a workout or it doesn’t go to plan, don’t beat yourself up. Just move on to the next session in your plan and stay positive!

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