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How to start exercising for beginners

Cassey Maynard
Portrait of Cassey Maynard in activewear smiling on the beach

Starting out is always the most challenging part

Portrait of Cassey Maynard in activewear smiling on the beach

Are you hoping to exercise more in 2020? If that’s your goal for the year and you haven’t yet hit the gym or worked up a sweat, don’t be too hard on yourself – starting is always the most challenging part.

I promise once you begin, you won’t want to stop, so here are five tips for all beginners looking to start their fitness journey.

1. Lock it in your diary

This is step one to a new you. Just like a work meeting or social event, your daily exercise needs to be booked in your calendar. You wouldn’t cancel plans with a colleague, friend or partner, so why would you cancel on yourself?

Try to plan your week in advance on a Sunday afternoon and include some form of movement every day. It might be as simple as a walk in the sunshine at lunch or a quick HIIT session at the gym before brekkie; whatever it is, it needs to become a part of your daily routine, so you don’t use the ‘I don’t have time to exercise’ excuse.

2. Find ways you love to move

Don’t just follow fitness trends because you think you have to. If you don’t like lifting heavy weights, don’t lift heavy weights; if you hate running, then don’t run. You need to find ways to move your body that you enjoy because you’ll be much more likely to stick with it.

Whether it’s yoga, a team sport, bike riding or dancing, find something that feeds your soul and brings you joy. If you love what you’re doing, you might not feel like you’re exercising at all.

When it comes to your health and fitness, a few small changes can make a big difference

3. Start slow

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with exercise is starting too hard and too fast, which isn’t sustainable. Slow and steady really does win the race when it comes to exercise; it’s not about shocking your body and hating every minute of it. Try to set yourself mini goals each week so you feel like you’ve achieved something.

It could be as simple as an eight-minute workout every day. To do this, set yourself a timer and get moving. If you’re looking for a challenge, try to complete 10 squats, 10 push ups (on your knees or toes), 10 crunches and 100 skips, followed by 20 reps of each and 100 skips, then 30 reps of each and 100 skips. How much can you get through in the time allocated? Each week, increase your workout time by a minute or two and you’ll be feeling fit and fabulous before you know it.

4. Make new healthy habits

When it comes to your health and fitness, a few small changes can make a big difference. Try to wake up earlier each morning to go for a walk or give a new gym class a try each fortnight. If you’re consistent, your new routine will become a habit in no time at all.

5. Remember how good exercise makes you feel

Being fit and healthy isn’t about a number on the scales or comparing yourself to someone else’s journey. In my mind, movement should be enjoyable; it should make you feel energised and full of good vibes and endorphins so you feel happier, healthier and more productive.

So, it’s as easy as making the change, reminding yourself you can do it, moving your body, enjoying it, sticking with it and voila – a healthy habit has been created! How will you get moving today?

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Cassey Maynard smiling on a busy beach

Cassey Maynard

Cassey Maynard is one of Sydney’s most recognised fitness experts and health advocates. Also known as The Energiser, Cass (@cassey.maynard) is passionate about energising people’s lives through health and fitness in a playful, fun and educational way.

For more articles by Cassey, check out The Check Up’s dedicated section.