5 Steps to Starting an Exercise Routine

How to Start Working Out at Home

Do you think about exercising, sometimes more than a little, but find it difficult to get started? And you know you always think of it at the most inopportune times – right? So many questions. Where to start? What to do? How often? Do you really want to know how to start working out at home? It’s easy (with a little dedication) – here’s how…

Deal with your procrastination. We know that you say to yourself: “if I start now then I won’t be able to stop without feeling guilty and I’m just not ready to commit to every week. Besides, the couch is so comfortable and I’m tired. I’ll start tomorrow.” You know it well. And we have been there, done that!

First of All, Focus on the Positive

Yes, focus on the positive, just start. Just commit to 10 minutes, 3 times a week and that’s a great start. That means that you basically have every-other-day off. So if you don’t feel like it one day, you can still fit 3 days of exercise into your week. If that’s too difficult, start with one day a week. The important thing is to commit to it and not to feel guilty about not doing your exercises weekly. And soon you will be missing your routine when you don’t get an opportunity to exercise. That takes commitment and time, but it’s well worth it. We promise!

Be sure to see ** below for printable guides to help you.

So, here’s the basics. Start simple, you can do what you know and add new exercises to challenge yourself or when you get bored. And adding/switching exercises are definitely recommended. Just like our minds get bored doing the same exercises over and over and similarly, our bodies get familiar with the same-old, same-old too, so it’s good to exercises different muscles once in a while.


Important – Always Check with your Dr. before starting an exercise routine! Exercising regularly works for us but we realize that doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone. Be sure they are ok for you.


Here’s how you to begin:

  1. Pick Your Day/Time
  2. Plan Your Routine **
  3. Record Your Starting Point
  4. Focus on Form
  5. Record Your Activity **

A Word of Caution

Don’t overdo it ! The first day you may feel like you can do more, but start slowly and build on your success. Do  allow a 5 minute warm up (slow dynamic exercises) at least 30 minutes for your major muscles (core, arms, legs) and a 5 minute cool down (or longer warm up and cool down). We have several other blog posts where we discuss the basics of dynamic and static stretching and warm up/cool downs without the jargon that we hope you find interesting. See our Blog Posts page.

 


1. Pick Your Day/Time of Day Watch Calendar

You’ll want to give this some thought. Habits rely on patterns, so it’s important to get into a consistent one, meaning a pattern you can live with. Pick the days of the week that fit into your schedule – are you a morning person who is more apt to workout before the workday starts or after you get home? You can always change this, but goals are more achievable if we add cues to help us stick with them. Picking the days and times help build the cues that will help you form good habits.

And don’t worry if you change them once in a while, but you’ll find that it’s easier if you workout at the same time of day. This helps form a habit and little reminders will pop up and help you remember that it’s activity time.

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2. Plan Your Routine 

Now that you know when you’ll exercise, you’ll need to plan what you
Notepad want to do. If you haven’t exercised in a while, you’ll want to start slowly. Remember, exercising is a way of life so think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. This will soon become normal as it becomes your lifetime mindset.

Start with a few exercises a few days a week – the important result is a healthy habit that you can live with. A habit that helps you stay active and healthy!

Recommendations:

Monday’s are our flexibility days – tap the image for 15 easy flexibility exercises Inner Thigh Stretch** See our Workout Routines and Journals page for Activity Guidelines and a Weekly Workout Planner with exercises to help you get started. Simply download  and print the exercises you want to do!

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3. Record Your Starting Point  You Are Here

Have you ever done something and said to yourself “I wish I took a picture”? Here’s a reminder to take your picture and ask a friend (or a physical trainer at your local gym) to measure your starting point, including your weight and if you have the tools, measure your BMI too. Tools to calculate your BMI can be found in this article: Benefits of Even Moderate Weight Loss.

Keep this in your journal and each month you’ll see your progress. And don’t get discouraged if the scale doesn’t show the results you feel it should. Remember that as you build muscle, you may weigh the same, but you’ll soon begin to feel better and lose inches, so you can finally say goodbye to those tight clothes.

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4. Focus on Your Form

I’m sure you’ve exercised before so you know what to expect. You’ll find that at first you can be a little awkward, but over time you get better at it. Sometimes you’ll even refer back to the exercise notes and if you are like me, realize that you were doing more than a few incorrectly. To perfect your technique, simply re-read your instructions.

The next thing you’ll need to remember to do is to breathe. I remember it this way – inhale during exertion and exhale afterward. That may be trickier than you think and take a while to master. You inhale to give your body the oxygen it needs to do the exercise correctly.

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5. Record Your Activity

I’ll bet you are more active than you realize.

** See our Workout Routines and Journals page, Weekly Workout Journal. Simply download the 3 pages, print and fill in the blanks!

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And don’t worry about being bored. Between picking exercises, keeping good form, breathing properly and counting your reps and sets, you’ll have a lot to keep you busy and engaged!

Remember to enjoy your workout and let us know how you are doing. Don’t forget to record your (or your friends) before and after story to share with us. You may be just the inspiration that motivates someone else and helps them be healthier.

Wishing you the best of health!

Author: Joan E Wilder

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It is our hope to help people invest in themselves by staying active throughout their lives. It's that important.

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