How To Start Exercising?

We’re born to move. That’s what our ancestors did, and that’s what they passed down to us; it’s in our genes.
This is why no matter how long you’ve been inactive, the bell is bound to ring in your head, saying, “You should exercise!”
Here is when you take a hard look at yourself in the mirror, envisioning a wild physique transformation.
Now that you’re pumped up and ready to roll, you look for the last missing piece: the “how”—how to start exercising? Well, that’s our topic for the day, so let’s dive in!

Why Does Exercise Matter?

Beyond the obvious perk of a more attractive look, exercise can do much more for your body—and mind.
First, it helps you kiss—kiss insomnia goodbye, as research shows that regular exercise is an excellent way to keep your sleep-wake cycle in order.
Exercise also helps you kiss in a more literal sense, with its increasingly apparent benefits for improving sex life. Regarding chronic diseases, exercise can greatly help in their prevention.
You add that to its other mood-lifting, energy-maintaining, confidence-boosting effects, and you’ll be that much more excited to do some sweating!

Starting to Exercise: A Roadmap

To start exercising—and keep doing it—you have to go about it in both a determined and organized fashion.
Leaving the determination up to you, let’s keep things organized by laying out this exercise roadmap. This will serve to walk you through all the steps you need to take before making it to your destination.

Step 1: Assessing Your Level

When embarking on any journey, it’s essential to know your starting point, so you can gauge your progress. With exercise, it’s no different.
That’s because the improvement that comes from exercise doesn’t take only one shape. In other words, it doesn’t have to be in the form of visible abs after a couple of weeks.
The first metric with which to measure your progress is the body mass index (BMI). Through your weight and height, this index estimates your body’s fat percentage.
The body mass index also points you in the right direction, as it tells you whether you need to lose or gain weight and by how much. Another metric that compliments the BMI is your waist circumference.
This is important because it can call your attention to smaller improvements that you might overlook in the mirror. Other useful metrics include:
  • Number of pushups you can do
  • Sit-and-reach flexibility test
  • Your pulse rate, both before and right after walking a mile
  • The duration it takes you to walk a mile
In addition, there’s one more metric that won’t exactly help you track your progress, but it'll be greatly useful when designing your diet.
I’m talking about the basal metabolic rate (BMR), which means the number of calories your body burns while at rest. So, make sure to measure it using one of the available online calculators.

Step 2: Setting Your Goals

Goal-setting is the one step that can make or break your exercising quest. Set a goal too far to reach, and you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. I didn’t wish to use this word, but that’s a pitfall many people slip in.
To get clear on your goals, you have to tune out the bogus claims of some fitness gurus that promise a greek-god physique in 30 days.
Instead of lending your ears to such people, you should aim to get a true professional on your side, especially to help you with the next step.

Step 3: Planning Ahead

For an exercise plan to work, it has to pack certain elements, the first of which is balance. See, the “hustle mentality” had us fooled, as it made us think that to get in shape and be healthy, we need tons of exercise sessions—but science begs to differ.
The Department of Health and Human Services states that you only need around four hours of moderate exercise per week to stay healthy. If it’s intense training we’re talking about, then that number of hours will be cut in half.
That’s really all you need, so you have to keep it balanced and build it up. Not only should the frequency and volume of training be balanced, but also the types of exercise—and here comes the next planning tip: mix it up!
There’s no shortage of training options out there, each having its own benefits. Weightlifting helps you gain muscle mass, HIIT makes your heart and lungs function better, and yoga makes your body more flexible—and that’s just to name a few.
Incorporating different exercise types is so beneficial that even highly specialized athletes do it in what’s known as cross-training. As a plus, combining different activities will spice up your exercise routine, making boredom a non-factor.
After getting an idea about how planning should work, you must be wondering for how long you should stick to the plan, and that brings us to the next point.

Step 4: Making It a Lifestyle

I know I mentioned the word “destination” earlier, but frankly, there might be no such thing. That’s because, with exercise, it’s a continuous journey—it’s a lifestyle. Sure, there can be milestones, but to keep reaping the benefits of exercise, you have to keep sowing.
Therefore, you have to create an exercise program that’s not only attainable but also sustainable. Making exercise a lifestyle also means accounting for the workouts in your schedule, and treating them as you would with any other important commitment.

Step 5: Listening to Your Body

Your body never stops sending you signals; it tells you what it needs. Being attuned to your body’s messages is the best thing you can do for your health.
This type of alignment between you and your body requires cultivation. You have to always sense when you’re stretching your body beyond its capacity—because when excitement is running high, it’s hard to hit the brakes.
So, knowing when to slow down and catch a break is of the essence. That relates to not only exercise but also diet. Set a diet plan that’s too unforgiving, and you’ll find yourself picking up the phone to order an extra-cheese pizza two days in.


For far too long, committing to exercise has eluded you. You wished that, even for once, you’d succeed at starting to work out.
All along, the problem was simple. You just need to block out bad advice and unrealistic expectations, plan well, listen to your body, and make exercise a lifestyle.