7 Expert Tips to Kickstart Your Exercise Routine

A beginner's guide to physical activity

7 Expert Tips to Kickstart Your Exercise Routine
1. Hannah Brencher / via Pinterest & 2. Claire Rose

Getting started with exercise can be one of the most rewarding decisions you make for your health and well-being. Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood, increase energy levels, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and promote longevity. However, the journey to a fit and healthy lifestyle can be intimidating, and many people struggle to take the first step. The good news is that with the right mindset and strategies, anyone can overcome these obstacles and get started on the path to a healthier, happier life.

Here are seven expert tips to help you get started with exercise:

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Start small and build up gradually: Don’t feel like you have to go from couch potato to marathon runner overnight. Start with short, manageable workouts and gradually increase the duration and intensity over time.

Many people actually overestimate their current level of fitness and this is quite natural. Perhaps you remember a time when you were fit and of course you think you can (more or less) pick up where you left off. The first couple of weeks will probably go quite well, but if you are consistently working beyond your baseline fitness, you will start feeling more tired and less motivated over time and may quit before you even really get started.

Research has shown even professional athletes can lose significant levels of fitness in as little as two weeks of inactivity.

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Find activities you enjoy: Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore. Try different activities until you find something that you look forward to doing.

A common question people have is, What type of exercise should I be doing? Sometimes you may know someone who does a specific routine or program like crossfit, or perhaps you have read about a celebrity’s regime and want to emulate it because you think if you follow the same program you will maybe get similar results.

The truth is that almost any activity will bring benefits. Just look at athletes from basketball, rowing, tennis, rugby, athletics, volleyball, and soccer. All of these activities produce fit athletes, so choose an activity or exercises that you enjoy.

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Set realistic goals: Having specific, measurable goals can help keep you motivated and on track. However, make sure your goals are achievable and realistic for your current fitness level.

Keep a record of your workouts and your weight if you are trying to gain or lose weight, as well as body measurements. This way you can accurately assess if what you doing is working or if you need to tweak your program to meet your goals.

Get support: Surround yourself with people who support and encourage your fitness journey.

This can be a workout buddy, a supportive friend or family member, or a fitness community. Telling people what you are doing can be a great way to add in some additional accountability.

Make it a habit: Consistency is key to building a fitness routine. Try to make exercise a daily habit, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day.

Trick yourself into working out. Let’s say you have a workout scheduled in your diary but for whatever reason, you are just not feeling it. Instead of blowing off the workout, get ready and tell yourself you will do the first 10 minutes of whatever you had planned, and if you still don’t feel like working out after 10 minutes you can stop. The majority of the time, using this technique, you will find that you will complete the workout and feel much better for it.

Have a backup workout. Let’s say you go to the gym for your workouts but for some reason can’t make it. Having a bodyweight program you can complete at home can keep you on track.


Listen to your body: It’s important to challenge yourself during workouts, but not to the point of injury or burnout. Pay attention to how your body feels and adjust your workouts accordingly.

If something doesn’t feel right or is uncomfortable or painful, stop doing it. Even if you are working with a trainer, let him or her know and he or she will find another way to target the muscles safely.

Celebrate your progress: Every workout, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction. Celebrate your progress and don’t be too hard on yourself if you have setbacks.

Additional Tip

Personal training can be a good investment if you are new to exercise and need guidance on proper form, technique, and programming. A personal trainer can also help you to set realistic goals, track progress, and stay motivated. However, personal training can also be expensive, and may not be necessary for everyone.

We recommend that if you are planning on using a trainer, invest in 8-12 session for the first month. Establish good habits and learn proper form and technique. Working with a personal trainer for a set number of sessions can provide a solid foundation of knowledge and support, which can then be reinforced through independent workouts and monthly check-ins with the trainer

By working with a trainer for an initial period, you can establish good exercise habits and develop a personalized program that takes into account your individual fitness goals, level of fitness, and any health concerns or limitations. This can be especially helpful if you are new to exercise or if you have been inactive for a period of time. Once you have established a good baseline level of fitness and knowledge, you can then continue to work on your own with periodic check-ins with the trainer. This approach allows you to maintain accountability and motivation while still having the flexibility to work out on your own schedule.