How to Start Exercising: A Beginner’s Guide to Exercise to start exercising

Sooner or later a sedentary lifestyle catches up with everybody, it is then when your body tells you it has had enough of an unhealthy life and will give you warning signs such as lethargy, weight gain and poor heart function resulting in shortness of breath. When combined with poor nutrition you are at risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Wouldn’t it be nicer to avoid such problems and start exercising? If you have decided on change towards a healthier life then you need to know how to start exercise. This article will teach you how to gradually get into shape and start working out because you can’t really jump into a fitness program without measuring your fitness levels.

Reasons Why You Need Physical Activity

When you start out on a fitness program, it is one of the best decisions you have made in your life because physical exercise and activity has a load of immense benefits such as:

  • Prevents the risk of disease
  • Increases energy
  • Helps you lose weight,
  • Improves coordination & balance
  • Improves focus & concentration
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves digestion &metabolism
  • Improves mood & Boosts confidence
  • Builds muscle
  • Improves blood sugar

As you can see, when you learn to exercise you benefit mentally and physically. The best news yet is that it is easy to learn how to exercise because it takes just five simple steps to start working out. However, remain dedicated and committed to yourself as it is your body in question. Follow these steps on how to start exercising.

1. Measure your fitness levels

Before you start to exercise, the most important thing is to assess your health and fitness levels. By measuring your fitness levels to see how fit you are, you get enough data to record your progress and formulate a routine that is in line with your present body capacity without placing undue stress upon your physiology. You need to measure your aerobic and muscular fitness levels as well as your body composition through the following means

  • Check your Pulse. Walk 1.6 km and soon after check your pulse rate

(While brisk walking the average heart rate would be 120-140 beats per minute. The average pulse rate at rest is 60-80 beats per minute)

  • Check how long it takes you to walk 1.6 km or 400 meters.

(An average person should be able to walk 1.6km in under 19 minutes)

  • At one go , check how many sit-ups, pushups can you do

(The average person should be able to do 10-20 sit-ups and 10-20 pushups per minute.)

2. Make your own fitness routine

As a beginner it’s necessary to be guided through the steps to exercise. You can either create your own fitness program or you can consult a trainer at your gym to work out one for you. Either ways, it should always be an introduction programme to ease your body into the ultimate ability to sustain rigorous or intense workouts. Here are some pointers.

What are your fitness goals? Are you exercising to lose weight or do you want to lose weight and build up lean muscle faster?  Do you want to focus in combination of strength, muscle and weight loss?

Make a balanced routine: According to activity guidelines, an adult should get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week to remain healthy. Once you embark on such guidelines, you can graduate to the requirements of 75 minutes of vigorous activity which can also be a combination of both.

Incorporate strength training: When you learn how to exercise, then integrate strength training workouts for all muscle groups into your workout routines twice a week.

Take it slow: You can’t hope to lose weight and get fit in a day. When you start to exercise, always maintain precautions, and do things slowly because you are liable to injure yourself. Always consult a physiotherapist or doctor if you have an injury. Ask your trainer to create a beginner’s routine that will build up strength, endurance, and fitness.

3. How you can introduce your body into physical activity

Being fit isn’t exactly a challenging task when you aim to do so. You can start incorporating your daily leisure activities into your exerciseprograms so that you combine workouts and pleasure.

Music while performing cardio: Today cardio workouts are gaining attention as a great way to maintain fitness. Exercises like aerobics and zumba are extended cardio routines that combine music and fitness so that your body maintains a steady rhythm throughout.

Treadmill workouts while watching TV: Yes while you workout ion your treadmill, you can easily watch your favorite program on TV. You can do the same while riding a stationary exercise bike.

Take breaks at work: While working use your lunch breaks to take a nice brisk walk or a walk in a nearby park

Reduce the boredom with variety: Exercising can get boring. Instead of the same old routine, start thinking about a variety of activities that are a mix of both indoor and outdoor exercises. Cross training, cross country skiing, biking, swimming, and walking are all good ways to work out different parts of your body.

4. Common exercise terms

Aerobic/Anaerobic: While anaerobic activity is fast paced activity that doesn’t use oxygen or minimal oxygen for performing such as a 100 meter sprint, aerobics is activity with oxygen and is perhaps the best form of workouts to start on when learning to get fit.  Swimming, cycling, jogging, Zumba, and walking are all forms of aerobic exercise.

Warm Up and Stretching:  Both active isolated stretching and dynamic stretching are various forms of stretches that help you become flexible and delivers more oxygen to the muscles stretched preparing them for the rigors of exercise. However, an important thing to note is that always warm up before stretches. Stretching cold muscles puts them at risk of injury. A warm up dilates blood vessels and increases oxygen flow to muscles. Stretching is part of the cool down process.

Strength, Resistance, and Weight training: Improves strength and endurance. Resistance exercises are those movements that work against the weight of your body like pushups or workouts with resistance bands.

Rep and Set: a Rep is a repetition of an ongoing exercise while a set is a complete set of specified repetitions.

5. The Amount of Exercise You Need to Do as A Beginner

As mentioned earlier, studies suggest that you need at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week. You can take help from your trainer to configure this into different routines for you. Alternately you can also aim for 30 minutes cardio variations everyday and strength training twice weekly.

Never overdo your workouts because you need to understand that you have just started exercising. One of the important things to remember when learning how to start exercising is that over exercising can injure you as well as weaken immunity and increase hormonal imbalances  not forgetting tiredness and fatigue.

Popular Types of workouts you can start on when learning how to exercise:


Good for strengthening heart and lungs. It also helps increase oxygen flow to organs and muscles. As you now know aerobics is rhythmic workouts that require oxygen to perform. Today there are several fitness studios that aerobics dance routines that can help you lose weight. Zumba is one of them and a great way to start your day because of its intense and passionate activity.

Types of aerobic activity

  • Dance
  • Zumba
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Stair climbing
  • Jump rope
  • Treadmill
  • Elliptical machine
  • Rowing machine
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Mountain climbing.

Circuit training

Circuit training burns more calories than interval training and much more than regular cardio exercise. Circuit training helps your body burn calories hours after your workout is over because your muscle continue to rebuild which burns calories and loses fat.


Calisthenics can be customized for beginners learning how to start exercising because it won’t require weights. It is a form of bodyweight training and can be done on its own. Calisthenics works out different muscles of the lower and upper body.


Tabatha training is by far a very popular bodyweight workout based on what is known as HIIT or High intensity interval training. It is great for losing weight and consists of ultra high intensity exercises on an 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off method which means you workout for 20 seconds say on an exercise bike on full speed and then rest for 10 seconds

Muscle Recovery is Important

When you start to exercise, your muscles are going to be strained. Overdoing it can lead to injury too. Never believe the advice that tells you continuous workouts throughout the week are good for you because your body needs a day of rest helping your muscles recover. When you exercise, your muscle cells and myofibrils are constantly breaking down but nutrition and rest helps them constantly grow back again bigger and stronger.

Muscle burn and cell damage is a part of the muscle synthesis process but rest contributes to the muscle recovery process by enabling a constant atmosphere of cell repair from essential nutrients absorbed from healthy nutrition. Ensure your nutrition includes all nine essential amino acids usually sourced from healthy protein. If you are a vegetarian then Read this article:

12 Healthy Vegetarian Sources of Protein

Moreover, your body needs adequate rest to relax and recuperate from the rigors of exercise which is why start on a moderate routine and gradually progress towards more rigorous forms of workouts.


Remain focused and committed to your goals of exercise and never deviate from your training frequency or path. Maintain a healthy diet and always get adequate sleep. Remain positive for a fit and healthy life.