Trying to meet the expert recommendations for maintaining your health and physical fitness might feel overwhelming at first. Give yourself time to develop an exercise routine that works for you. As it gets easier and you become stronger, you can focus on doing more.
Struggling to start an exercise routine? START by using these five steps:
- Start moving
Getting a few extra steps or some additional movement throughout the day can be a great way to jump-start a more active lifestyle. And remember: when it comes to getting your body moving, more is better!
- Try smaller goals first
Starting with smaller goals can help you gain the confidence you need to develop an exercise routine that you can stick with. Try going for a 10-minute walk during your lunch break 2 to 3 days a week or doing 3 or 4 strength training exercises 1 day a week. As you reach your goals, you can set new ones as you feel and become stronger!
- Alternate and try new activities
Alternate your workout routine by doing strength training exercises one day and cardiovascular exercises another day. Or try out new ways of exercising that sound like fun—like finding a new hiking trail or checking out a cross-fit class. Invite a friend to join you. Mixing up your workouts allows your muscles to recover in between and keeps it fun!
- Routine and consistency will help you stick with it
Plan ahead! It’s easy for exercise to take a back seat when we have so many other demands on our time and energy. Whether you like to exercise at the same time of the day or on the same days of the week or find that you need to be more flexible to fit exercise into your life, having a weekly plan will help you stick with it.
- Track your activity
Buy a pedometer or download an app or other tools to help you keep track of your physical activity goals and progress.