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Carla S. - August 25, 2020

How to Get Into Fitness: 22 Tips For Getting Healthy 

Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds or just get your body moving and feel better about yourself, it’s never too late to start working out.

That being said, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. With so many online fitness programs on offer, so much equipment for sale, and so many different types of workouts, how do you get started?

If you’re wondering how to get into fitness, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of 22 of the best tips and tricks to getting started on the path to good health. 

Why Get Fit? 

You’ve probably already decided you want to get fit, but are you aware of the countless benefits of exercise?

It can help you prevent and even reverse depression, it helps people with arthritis, it can help in the recovery from certain types of cancer, and it can even play a role in the cure for heart disease. It can reduce your risk of dementia, prevent muscle loss, and improve your digestion and even your sex life.

It can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and it supports stronger bones. It can help you reduce body fat and achieve weight loss, not to mention all of the benefits of exercise on your mental health.

There’s obviously no shortage of reasons to get in shape, so let’s look at how to get into fitness.  

Our Top 22 Fitness Tips

1. Choose an activity that you really enjoy

If you’re really going to stick with your exercise regime, it’s very important that you pick an activity that you enjoy. If you don’t it will be very hard to stay motivated—which is really half the battle—and make working out a real habit. If it makes you feel clumsy, you’re not likely to stick with it. There are lots of different types of exercise. Pick something that’s real simple and which aligns with your lifestyle and abilities.

2. Talk to a doctor

Before you get started, it’s not a bad idea to look at your fitness level and energy levels for your chosen activity. Men over 45 and women over 55 should definitely get medical clearance before they begin. While you can most likely work out even if you have a medical condition, it’s a good idea to know beforehand if you have any limitations.

3. Start slow

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five times a week. Try to find a way to incorporate half an hour of exercise into your daily routine, whether it’s walking, jogging, biking or even dancing. Don’t start out too aggressively and overdo it. You’re not going to see results immediately; you have to be in it for the long haul.

4. Set clear and realistic goals

Do you simply want to walk five days a week? Are you looking to lose five pounds? Do you want to run a 5K or do you have bigger goals like running a half marathon one day? You’re more likely to stick to your fitness routine if you set clear and realistic goals.

5. Figure out your “why”

It’s important, when you’re just starting out, to stay motivated and consistent. To do this, it helps to determine your “why.” Why do you want to get into fitness? Don’t do it because everyone else is doing it. Do it because you want to feel better about yourself, because you want to lose weight, because you want to keep up with your kids, or because you want to feel stronger. Once you have your “why,” it will be easier to stick with your fitness routine.

6. Don’t forget to warm up

Before you begin your workout, it’s very important to warm up. This not only helps in preventing injuries, but it’s also a great way to increase your body’s core and muscle temperature. A proper warm-up should also help you increase your range of motion.

7. Make it social

You’ll be more likely to stick with your routine if you’re doing it with a friend. Ask family or friends in your neighborhood to work out with you. This helps with accountability and it makes it more fun, and you’ll be less likely to skip out.

8. Get enough sleep

Sometimes when we’re tired, it’s harder to stick to our commitments. If you’re low on energy, you might feel like ditching your exercise plans. Make sure you get enough sleep each night so you can be active without feeling drained.

9. Drink plenty of water

When you’re properly hydrated, your body performs its best. Drink water before, during and after your workout. It helps to lubricate your joints and it regulates your body temperature. If you don’t drink enough, you might feel dizzy or tired or even experience muscle cramps.

10. Listen to your body

Don’t power through the pain, especially if you’re just starting out, as this could lead to an injury. Listen to your body! If you experience any discomfort or pain at all, take a break. When you’re feeling better, start exercising again.

11. Make it a habit

The idea here is to start slow and build momentum. If you start out too ambitious and you fall short, you might feel like giving up. Better to start out easy, with small goals, and build up your self-confidence.

12. Schedule your workout

If you sense you might try to skip it, schedule it. Add it to your planner. Set an alarm on your phone. If you intentionally include it in your day, like you would a work meeting or doctor’s appointment, you’re more likely to show up and achieve your fitness goals. And if you think you’re too busy to work out, there are always ways to sneak it into your day to day. The American Council on Exercise recommends exercises you can do in just five minutes.

13. Reward yourself

Exercising will bring you lots of rewards: it will give you more energy, it will give you more confidence, and it will help you sleep better. But sometimes we need additional motivation. Don’t be shy about picking a reward so you have something to look forward to, but don’t do it or enjoy it until you’ve worked out.

14. Make it easy

Plan to work out when it’s most convenient for you. If you’re a morning person, schedule your workout when you wake up as opposed to after work, when it will be harder to motivate.

15. Get creative

There are a million ways to exercise. You don’t have to stick to running, walking, or training at the gym. Think about outdoor activities you like that can get your heart rate going, like rollerblading, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and even paddle boarding. Sign up for dance classes or martial arts if you’re passionate about those things. All of these can help you get fit.

16. Get sneaky

There are many opportunities throughout the day to get some exercise, you just have to sneak them in. For example, instead of taking your car, walk or bike to your destination if you can. If you’re watching TV, get your heart pumping during the commercials with some jumping jacks or by lifting weights. Skip the escalator and take the stairs. Park farther away from the store entrance. All these extra steps add up!

17. Read up

If your motivation and consistency need a boost, look for inspiration. Subscribe to a fitness or health magazine or look for blogs in those spaces. Sometimes when you see photos of people getting fit or read articles about peoples’ fitness journeys, you’re more driven to continue on your own path.

18. Keep a log

If you’re just starting out, it can help to keep track of your activity. This can keep you feeling motivated and serve as a reminder of all of your hard work. Writing things down also helps you keep your commitment and holds you accountable. When you’re fully invested in your fitness routine and more of an “expert,” you can look back at your log and remember how it all started.

19. Invest in some gear

You don’t have to spend a ton of cash, especially if you’re just getting started, but sometimes having the right equipment can motivate you even more. You might consider getting a new pair of shoes for walking or running, and you can always buy a jump rope or a few hand weights to use during TV commercials.

20. Be mindful of your eating habits

Make a commitment to eating better. Not only will this help you get in shape, it will help lay the foundation for a healthier lifestyle which also involves exercise. When we practice healthy eating, we feel even better about working out and when we work out, we feel even better about eating healthy. You don’t have to make major changes to start, just small shifts towards better, more wholesome foods.

21. Push yourself

If you walked for 30 minutes yesterday, why not aim for 40 minutes today? If you push yourself just a little bit, especially when you’re wavering, you’ll feel even better for sticking to your commitment.

22. Be prepared to fail

Did you maintain a steady schedule for a few weeks and then fall off the wagon? Has it been a week or two since you got your body moving? Did you keep hitting snooze and miss your gym class a few times? Don’t throw in the towel. Keep going. Getting started and sticking with it is hard, so give yourself a break.  

Did you maintain a steady schedule for a few weeks and then fall off the wagon? Has it been a week or two since you got your body moving? Did you keep hitting snooze and miss your gym class a few times? Don’t throw in the towel. Keep going. Getting started and sticking with it is hard, so give yourself a break.

If you were wondering how to get into fitness, we hope this beginner’s guide will help you get on track, establish an exercise routine and reap all the health benefits. Starting any new habit can be difficult and daunting, but with the right mindset and a firm commitment, you can do anything you set your mind—and body—to.