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How To Start Exercising When You're a Beginner

Exercise. You know you need to move your body, but... ⠀ Maybe you struggle with lack of time and motivation, maybe you've tried exercise before but were disappointed by lackluster results, or maybe you're ready to get moving, but are overwhelmed by where to start. You're not alone. Lack of time and motivation are the two most common excuses for skipping out on exercise, and if you're a beginner, well, that alone can be completely overwhelming. Many of us hear the word "exercise" and think of the gym, punishing workouts, and signing up for something you dread. But exercise is goes so much deeper than pretty muscles or achieving weight loss. Yes, can help you get stronger and fitter, but it's great for mind and spirit too!

And when you make movement a regular part of your day-to-day routine, you’ll quickly begin to experience all these great benefits for yourself...

Such as:

  • Boosted immunity

  • Increased energy and mental focus

  • Improved mood and confidence

  • Sleeping more soundly

  • Decreased stress

  • Reduced risk of disease

  • Supporting strong bones

  • Improved cardiovascular health

How to start exercising when you're a beginner

So, where do you start?

Here are some simple ways to add a bit of Fitness into your day -- no gym membership required!

Cubicle Fitness

Just as ergonomic experts recommend that office workers take their eyes off their computer screen every hour or so, fitness experts are advocating getting up from your chair and taking a brisk walk up and down the stairs. Take breaks throughout the day by offering to pick up supplies for your colleagues, take the mail downstairs instead of waiting for it to be picked up, pace your office while on a call, or walk to a colleague's office to chat rather than send them an email. That way, you force yourself to get up from your seat and walk for a few minutes several times throughout the day.

Office Exercise

Family Fitness

On the weekends when you join the family in their activities, try to integrate a bit of fun exercise: if the kids are into cycling, join them for bike rides. Have a playdate at the park? Use the opportunity to do some simple step ups, squats, push ups or tricep dips on a picnic bench or walk a few laps around the perimeter. Are you headed off to their swimming lessons or skating lessons? See if there is an adult swim or skate option available. Headed out to soccer or basketball practice? Walk a lap or two around the park or community center while you watch/wait.

Have fun with family fitness

Chores Are Workouts Too

Who says you can’t burn calories while doing housework or gardening? Take a breather from your hectic schedule and devote some down time to tending to your lawn, trimming your rose bushes, scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom floors, washing the car by hand, etc. Many of these activities recruit your whole body supporting functional movement too!

Chores Are Exercise

Walk, Don't Drive

Park your car farther from the entrance and take a few extra steps each time you walk to your office, a mall entrance, visit your doctor’s office and run to the post office. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how quickly all those extra steps add up!

Bottom line: there are all sorts of great ways to get moving, so there's no need to make it a "chore" by signing up for something you don't like! Start small, incorporating 10-20 minutes of movement each day, such as a 10-minute walk during lunch, or biking to the coffee shop, scheduling a walk and talk with a friend, or setting a reminder on your phone to get up and move every few hours during the day. Keep it simple and you'll make it doable. Every few steps adds up and before you know it you'll be sneaking in more and more movement naturally during your day!

Walk instead of drive

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