A Beginners Guide To Starting Exercise
Getting Starting With Exercise – Everything You Need To Know
It’s great that you are keen to start exercises and I totally get how scary it can be to begin with, so this beginners guide is designed to get you started at home with exercise in a sustainable way. I know how overwhelming the internet can be in terms of what is the right way to exercise and how to get started. There is so much information out there, that it can be really hard to sift through it all and know what is right. The last thing you want to do is spend months training and find out that it’s not the best way.
That’s why today I wanted to share with you after training thousands of clients since 2002 what I have discovered to be the best way and also gift you this free guide to go along with it as it has everything you need to help build a solid foundation of Wellness first. It covers all the health essentials including where to focus when first starting out with exercise, nutrition along with sleep and overall happiness.
Let’s look into how to get started when it comes to exercise, you know that you want to start exercising but you just can’t seem to muster up the strength or energy to go from couch to working out or your idea of exercise you hate altogether. Even just the vision of exercise puts you off let alone the actual doing of it.
First up there are some things I would love to share…
Often we have this idea in our head that the only exercise worth doing is exhausting, it has to involve a whole hour at the gym, flash gym gear, a gym membership and you must finish off sweaty, red-faced and exhausted, otherwise, what’s the point. I’m here to tell you that that’s not the only way and what I am all about is giving you the tools to effectively train without exhausting yourself, to help you build energy, health and wellbeing.
You see when you have life sitting on your shoulders, to-do lists to do, errands to run, deadlines to met and a day that just has no time left of course you are going to put off exercise (or your idea of it) because the last thing you have time for is an hour gym session when you have no energy for in the first place. Here’s the thing, exercise and movement are two things to consider and we don’t need to go to a gym 5 days a week or run 30 minutes every day in order to build wellness and burn body fat. Instead, it’s about building the correct layers and I want to share with you just how you get started.
Regardless of your physique, if you are 70kg or 110kg, getting started with exercise for the first time is scary and that’s only if you get the motivation to start in the first place. I hear people say all the time that exercise isn’t for me and gyms are overrated and I get where they are coming from, the truth is however sometimes our idea of what exercise should look like isn’t actually the reality and in fact what your body needs and what will get you results may come from a completely different order of priorities first.
If you are keen to make a change to your wellness then first its time to get your head in the right place. Here are some truths to start with:
- Everybody is a beginner once
- Your body thrives off movement
- Everybody starts somewhere
- Exercise is about building wellness
- Exercise can create energy when done correctly
The truth is the hardest part is always starting and the fact that you are here reading this is a great first step and now the key is to take the next step. Too often we set too big a goals and too demanding schedules that simply are unachievable and we set ourselves up for failure time and time again. This does nothing for enthusiasm let alone self-esteem. The key is to start with one thing and rig yourself to be successful. What I mean by this is don’t say to yourself that you are going to run 5 days a week for 30 minutes each day or go out and do 60 minute walks every weekday.
Instead, say I am going to head outside and do a 5-minute walk every day. Build a habit that you can be successful at. 9/10 you will do much more than 5 minutes and on the days you only do 5 minutes it’s still better than sitting on the couch. As you make this habit routine, bit by bit you can add to it and make it more challenging, yet still achievable. Then more and more you are able to be successful at your goals, the more momentum, self confidence and motivation you gain because you are achieving them.
Step One – Foundation Of Movement
As I mentioned above the toughest part of starting is realizing that you need to start and on your first day the key is that you keep it simple and doable and all you need to do is begin by walking. You see a foundation of movement is vital to long term health and this begins with an aim of building up to 10,000 step days. You don’t have to look far to see all the research about how 10,000 step days are pivotal to longevity and health and that walking is an amazing tool for fat burning, biomechanics and mental health. In fact this study here suggests it can add 7 years to your life and this harvard article mentions how it improves immune function as well as helping prevent cravings. So its an incredible first step and why I consider it such a valuable foundation to any exercise regime
However, it doesn’t matter where you are starting from, if right now you know you are walking minimally begin with just a 5 minute walk around the block or on a treadmill and aim to do this consecutively every day. Ideally outside is nature is better than on a treadmill, but sometimes this just isn’t possible so a treadmill is fine if you can’t get outdoors.
Then bit by bit you want to add onto this until you have a good foundation of movement into your days. This is the very first step before beginning any sort of workout program or even worrying about workouts. You see this is key to sustainable long-term success when building exercise and fitness. There is a slight modification to this as I totally get that sometimes where you live and at certain times of the year this can be hard to start walking, but if you can at least get into the mindset to try and find ways to walk more and move more, this is a great first step and I mentioned it’s all about the right headspace. So understanding this foundational layer is key and don’t think these 10,000 steps are all achieved in one long walk. This is accumulative over the period of the day. So a 5-minute walk here, walking to the car, walking to work, hanging out washing etc. It all adds up. This is why activity trackers are so fantastic, so if you have the means to get one this can be a great incentive to help keep you on track each day.
One thing I love to do while walking is listening to podcasts, this is often referred to as stacking or killing two birds with one stone. Meaning you do two things at the same time to improve time efficiency. Sometimes I just love silence and other times I love learning and being inspired while walking, so here are my current favorite podcasts (Tim Ferris, Gary Vee, Katy Bowman, and I also have a podcast to here so you can listen to me chat to) and also love audiobooks too. I was amazed how many books I could actually “read” since I started downloading audiobooks for my walks, I use Audible for this. Big game changer.
Once you have starting walking, stick with this routine until its second nature to you and you are easily achieving 10,000 step days with ease. This could take you 6 months, 3 months or just a couple of weeks. The more you can make these walks not require decisions or will power, the more successful you will be. What this means is for example you always take the stairs no elevator, you always park the car a block away, you always take the dog for a walk without question, you always head outside at lunchtime, you walk to work, have a walking meeting, instead of meeting a friend for coffee met for a walk instead. These are all so much easier than say getting home at the end of a long day sitting on the couch and then trying to muster of the motivation to head out for a walk. It’s so much harder. Instead, start telling yourself you walk everywhere and start looking for more ways in which you can make walking a part of your daily life and the easier it will be to achieve 10,000 step days.
Along with your walking, can you aim to stand more in your day, you see when we spend all day it a chair not only does it affect our energy, but also it affects our biomechanics, strength and overall wellbeing. See if you can aim to spend more time standing, as a side benefit, simply standing burns 50 more calories per hour than sitting, so if that was all you changed it’s a great first step. Please don’t think that you have to throw away your sitting desk (unless you want to of course), its just about looking for opportunities and doing things like talking on the phone standing, having conversations standing. Spending time outside of your work hours on your feet. Its a mindset shift that will also shift your wellbeing. So look for movement opportunities in your life and start to spend more time walking and standing.
To Recap your first steps
Rig yourself to be successful, start with a 5-minute walk each day.
Aim for 10,000 step days as part of your daily routine, build up to this over time.
Starting makes you a winner, take the first step
Stack your walks, listen to podcasts, audio books, walking meetings and parking your car further away from destinations.
The next step after building walking into our life and a foundation of movement is to work on keeping our muscles, joints and ligaments strong. The first place to start is with body weight exercises. The reason this is so effective as it helps keep our bodies strong and robust. As we age our body decreases bone mass and this can happen at a rate of 1% per year after the age of 40 according to this study our body simply loses it when we don’t use it.
When we keep our muscles working it can help with increases bone density, muscle mass and help improve overall metabolism and fat burning. In a paper published here resistance training may even help in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes and help with reducing resting blood pressure, decreasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, and increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
You don’t need specialty gym gear or flash equipment, just your own body, the privacy of your own home and to begin with here is a 5 minute workout routine you can try right now. First however you want to make sure you are nice and warm so doing this at the end of your 5 minute walk is ideal. Then the next step is to find a space to do this workout, then if you choose turn on some music, push play and lets go.
5 Minute Workout For Beginners
Squats for 30 seconds
Press ups for 30 seconds
Bridges for 30 seconds
Horse stance for 30 seconds
Knee ups for 30 seconds
Repeat as a circuit two times through
**Im using the gymboss app on my phone, love it and it helps me to work that little bit harder.
Don’t worry if you can’t do all the exercises, just do what you can. Remember the key is starting. Then once you have done this workout once, aim to do it two more times this week for a total of three. Ideally your week would look like this:
Beginners Weekly Schedule
Monday – 5 Minute workout and Walk 10,000 steps
Tuesday – Walk 10,000 steps
Wednesday – 5 Minute workout and Walk 10,000 steps
Thursday – Walk 10,000 steps
Friday – 5 Minute workout and Walk 10,000 steps
Saturday – Walk 10,000 steps
Sunday – You can rest today if you are tired, but if not aim to get those 10,000 steps in.
If you want to make things more challenging during this initial phase you can repeat the 5-minute workout by making it 10 minutes or even 15 minutes. If you fall off track, get tired, injured, stressed or all of the above for whatever reason. Always come back to the beginning with your walking. This is like the foundation of a house and its the base layer for all your training, day in and day out and part of your life. Build this back up again and then come back to the workouts once you feel ready again.
If possible start to write a dairy of everything you are doing, this is great to keep a record and also great for motivation. It really helps with progress and also knowing what you are doing each and every week and how far you have come.
So to help you on this journey here is a recap and some pointers to carry on with.
Just commit to a really simple routine as above and make it achievable. Then make that happen each and every day. There will be days when you do more or days when you only do 5 minutes. The key is to just do it. Make the time to make this new habit just happen.
Get some great music
Turn up some great music to get you into the mood. Stimulate the brain that it’s time to exercise. Then get into it, start with just one step, alternatively use podcasts and or audiobooks and use your walking time as a time to be inspired and to learn.
Our bodies aren’t designed to sit all day! So include more standing in your day. Get your body used to standing more often. Your posture, back, and energy will thank you for it long term.
Figure out your why
Why do you want to be fitter and healthier?? Write it down. When you know the reason why you are committing to exercise, you can push through the excuses and mental chatter and JFDI!
I hope this helps you make exercise part of your day. Remember don’t over think it. Think of exercise as a thing you do in your day, like brushing your teeth. It’s just what you do in order to be a healthy human being, it’s the new you. This way of thinking is what will make it happen each day.
Here is a PDF download of the free guide that I mentioned above. If you haven’t already make sure you download it and also check out my post here how to start an exercise habit when you are really unfit and get some small tips on how to begin well.
Then start using this workout above to begin with. Follow the weekly schedule and start to incorporate short walks into your day until you have gotten into the habit of doing 10,000 steps consecutively. The aim is that you are trying to build up to trying to walk 10,000 steps per day as a good solid foundation of movement. So just start with aiming to get a good 5-minute walk and gradually build this up over the period of a few weeks. The key is that you start simple and gradually build it up and don’t make it all to hard by thinking how much you have to do or by sitting to big a goals that are unmaintainable.
Remember to take one day at a time and just start. You can do this, you don’t even have to leave your living room. Let me know how you get on and if you need a hand with this journey you know I am here to help out. So get in touch.
Don’t forget to download your free guide to help remind you of the 4 Health Essentials to Wellness, these first two step are the essential elements in the wellness equation and what I go into in detail with the Wheel Of Wellness. This whole philosophy I have developed is a step by step sustainable approach to real life wellness. Designed to help you be successful and to help create more energy into your days.