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How to Start an Exercise Routine: Setting Yourself up for Success

Sticking with exercise routine-01

1 | Let’s do this!

The first step in starting an exercise routine is deciding that you are ready to begin. Once you have made this commitment to yourself you have conquered the first and hardest step!

2 | Find your motivation

Is it that you want to fit into the jeans you bought last summer or is it that you hope to be a good example for your family? Whatever it is, use this as motivation to push you to stay committed to reaching your goals.

3 | Set your goals!

What do you want to achieve? Set both short and long term goals. Short-term goals can be as simple as making it to the gym three times a week for the next month. Long-term goals might be that you want to run a 5k by the end of the year or lose 15 pounds in time for your son’s wedding next spring. Check out our How to set goals and stick with them blog for more information on setting SMARTER goals.

4 | Make time for exercise

Find time in your schedule that you can dedicate to your physical fitness. Schedule this time like you would an appointment. You wouldn’t cancel an appointment if it wasn’t absolutely necessary so treat your workout the same way. Aim for at least three days of activity and at least two and a half hours of exercise each week. If you need to – split it up! It may be easier for you to find shorter periods of time rather than a large chunk. There are 168 hours in a week so 2.5 hours is just 1.5% of your week. YOU CAN DO IT!

5 | Equipment

The most important piece of exercise equipment you can invest in is a good pair of closed toe athletic shoes. A good pair of shoes will provide adequate support and reduce your risk of injury. You will also want to make sure you have proper clothing for exercise, i.e. loose fitting, moisture wicking clothes.

6 | Start slow

Start slow and gradually work your way up to a more intense workout regimen. If you haven’t worked out in years, don’t feel like you have to jump right into running a 5K or lifting heavy weights. This is how early burnout and injury occur. Evaluate your current condition or ask a doctor if you are unsure. The goal is to develop habits you can stick with for a lifetime.

7 | Reward yourself

Set small rewards to help you reach your larger goals. If you complete your entire workout routine for the month, plan to treat yourself to a night out at your favorite restaurant or allow yourself to purchase a new exercise outfit.

8 | Just get there!

Once you get to the gym it’s hard to leave without doing anything. If you work out at home, getting dressed and putting your exercise shoes on works the same way.

“The hardest step is the first step out the door.”