How To Start Exercising: A Beginner’s Guide To Working Out (The Hardest Thing Is Starting)

Last Updated on November 21, 2022 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer

Maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but the most difficult part is always starting a fitness routine, to begin with.

Once you’ve got into a routine and created an achievable fitness regime and you enjoy it, it stops being “hard work” and becomes a part of you. 

Much like many things in life, it’s about consistency.

How To Start Exercising: A Beginner's Guide To Working Out (The Hardest Thing Is Starting)

But how do you get started? How do you go from a sedentary lifestyle to regular workouts?

Well, we’re going to give you some of the best tips to get you started and aim for a new lifetime commitment where you’ll feel better and look better!

Read on for more.

Why Start Regular Exercise?

Most of us are already aware that exercise is massively beneficial to our everyday lives and general health.

It can promote better mental health, a positive attitude, better self-confidence, and normally a better-looking body! But there’s much more to it than that.

Our bodies and our minds are much more aligned than we often give credit for.

For example, doctors have long suggested that regular exercise can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

Additionally, we are contributing to a fitter body – which means less chance of getting sick with an improved immune system and more calories being burned which should keep our weight in check.

It’s also been suggested that detoxification of potentially harmful chemicals that we’re exposed to in our everyday lives can occur from regular exercise.

The point here is, that there are so many benefits to regular exercise and it’s always a good idea to get into it and keep it going – but how exactly does a beginner do this?

Preparation And Philosophy

Maintaining regular exercise is not as simple as some people think, and beneficial workouts do not simply involve running on a treadmill.

How to Start Exercising: A Beginner's Guide (The Hardest Thing Is Starting)

The key is consistency and the only way to remain consistent is through the following:

  • Determination
  • Hard work
  • Enjoyment
  • Variety

If you prepare yourself before you begin and know what you’re going to do and what it takes, you’ll be able to plan better for your fitness program.

Here are some things you should think about:

Make It Achievable

If you’re thinking about starting out in the fitness world because you want to lose weight, you need to be honest with yourself and make any fitness improvement goal achievable.

You’re not going to lose 200 pounds in a week for example, and you’re unlikely to be able to run 5 miles on day two. So, always start with small goals and work your way up.

In fact, we recommend any workouts be 30 minutes or less. That way, you are much more likely to remain consistent and see results.

Document Your Progress

Knowing how far you’ve come and where you’re going is critical to success. It allows you to see how much weight you’ve lost, how many workouts you’ve done, how improved your workouts are, etc.

Humans are almost fickle in the way our minds operate. If we see positive results from our documentation, we will continue to make headway and stick with the workouts.

However, it’s important to remember that we all have bad times, so if you ever notice a decline in progress, don’t give up – use this as motivation and set a new goal!


If you do the same workouts over and over again, week in and week out – your muscles will begin to get used to it. Not only does this slightly detract from the benefits of the workout, but it also brings an element of boredom.

One of the important things with regular exercise is enjoying it. If you find yourself getting bored with your exercises, you’ll likely just stop.

This is why it is so important to plan your workouts and make a cycle. This allows you to keep things fresh and get all of your muscles involved.

Don’t Forget To Rest

This principle creeps into the idea of keeping exercise fun. If you do not rest or do not treat yourself from time to time, you might find yourself getting irritated and it’s possible to fall into a habit of binge eating or laziness.

So, always remember to rest and set yourself that one day a week when you can let your hair down.

Just know that you need to get back to the routine the next day!

Gym? Home? Where To Exercise

This will likely come down to personal preference and budget restrictions. There’s no right or wrong answer for where you get your exercise, as long as you are getting regular exercise!

How to Start Exercising: A Beginner's Guide (The Hardest Thing Is Starting)

However, we’ll run through the pros and cons for each for beginners.

The Gym

While the gym may seem like the logical place to go for a workout, for beginners it’s not always that simple.


  • Leaving the house puts you in the mindset of “going to workout”
  • You’re around like-minded people
  • Opportunity for workout classes if you wish
  • Opportunity to ask for help or tips if required
  • Some gyms have apps that allow you to document your progress


  • Some beginners feel strong anxiety about the gym, especially around “veterans” of fitness
  • Can be quite costly
  • Exercise machines may be taken
  • Some machines can be difficult to understand without experience

There have been beginners in the past that have decided to seek out 24-hour gyms so they can learn on their own timeline and alleviate some of their anxiety, but sometimes the gym is not for you.

Home Workout

A lot of us are home much more now, so exercising at home might just be another thing you do there. However, let’s look at the pros and cons.


  • Cheaper/free depending on choice of workouts
  • No strangers around you
  • Machines are never taken
  • No need to commit to a long-term gym membership
  • Can do exercises on your own time and as you are able to fit them in


  • You may start developing “cabin fever” if you work, live, and exercise from home
  • Large families might make home workouts more difficult
  • You may find it is much easier to slouch and forget your workout, making it much more difficult to remain consistent


Exercising outdoors is a great way to enjoy nature and stick to a fitness routine. However, this is also not for everyone.

How to Start Exercising: A Beginner's Guide (The Hardest Thing Is Starting)


  • Free
  • Duality with nature
  • More room to move than the gym
  • Allows you to leave your home


  • Limited options for exercise choices
  • Weather can restrict you
  • Difficult to do during nighttime hours

What Exercises Should I Be Doing?

As we mentioned, variety is important for beginners and you also need to set realistic exercises that you can do for 30 minutes or less.

There are a few choices:

  • Cardio
  • Strength training
  • Bodyweight exercises

Each one of these exercise categories has plenty to choose from. Consider looking up a few from each and making a workout plan that is varied and you can stick to!

The Bottom Line

If you can stick to an exercise plan, remain consistent, and keep it varied – you should be able to go from beginner to regular in no time!

TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
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