How to Start Exercising: The Best Guide to Working Out

Summer is around the corner, and it's officially that time of year when we think, “I need to start working out”. The trickiest part, of course, is taking that first step. There are just too many tempting excuses out there—the couch is calling, you just washed your hair, you're still searching for the perfect black leggings to exercise in, or you simply don’t feel like it. Figuring out where or how to start can be challenging, especially if you've never had a workout plan or have let physical activity slip. But remember, you're not alone—and it's never too late to start!

Why Is Exercising Important?

Exercising offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. Physically, it improves cardiovascular health, aids in weight management, strengthens muscles and bones, enhances flexibility, boosts the immune system, and improves respiratory function. Mentally, it reduces stress and anxiety, enhances mood, improves sleep, boosts cognitive function, and increases energy levels. Long-term benefits include increased longevity, improved quality of life, and enhanced self-esteem and confidence. In short, exercising is powerful and can help improve your life. 

Fitness Goals: 6 Steps to Get Started

If you want to start enjoying the positive impacts of exercise and see improvements in overall well-being and quality of life, but don’t know how to start, consider these simple steps:

1. Check your health

Before starting a workout routine, consult your healthcare provider for a physical examination. Detecting any health issues that might increase injury risk is crucial for those new to vigorous activities. An early checkup can also help optimize your workout by identifying limitations and creating a beginner workout plan according to your needs.

2. Measure Your Fitness Level

To accurately assess your fitness level before creating a work out schedule, write down your scores to use as benchmarks for progress. Measure:

  • Pulse rate before and after walking 1 mile.
  • Time to walk 1 mile or run 1.5 miles.
  • Number of pushups you can do at once.
  • Flexibility in hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, and elbows.
  • Waist circumference at the bellybutton level.
  • Body mass index (BMI).

3. Design Your Fitness Program

The excitement of starting might lead you to say that you'll exercise every day. But trust us, you'll need a plan, so keep these points in mind:

  • Think about your fitness goals. Are you starting a fitness program to help lose weight? Or, are you training for a marathon? Having clear goals helps you stay motivated.
  • Make a balanced routine. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. It might sound like a lot, but it could be split into 30 minutes of activity each day of the week. You can watch your favorite show while walking on the treadmill or read while riding a stationary bike.
  • Include strength training exercises. Major muscle groups need strength training at least two times a week. It improves muscle mass, bone density, metabolism, and overall physical health. Use a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.
  • Start slow. If you're new to exercise, start with easy workouts. Aim to increase your activity level by no more than 10% a week.
  • Build activity into your daily routine. Finding time to exercise can be a challenge. To make it easier, schedule time to exercise as you would any other appointment.
  • Allow time for recovery. Many people start fitness programs with a lot of energy but then give up when muscles and joints become sore or injured. Plan time between sessions for your body to rest and recover.

4. Gather Your Equipment

Choosing the right equipment is key to enjoying the exercise and getting better results.

  • Shoes: Be sure to pick shoes that are made for the activity you have in mind. For example, running shoes weigh less than cross-training shoes.
  • Clothing: Choose clothing made of cotton and avoid synthetic fabrics. Cotton clothes allow airflow between the fabric and your skin while synthetic materials often trap heat, which can lead to sweat rash.
  • Fitness apps: You can use them to track the distance you walk, track the calories you burn, or check your heart rate.
  • Hygiene Items: After a sweaty workout, nobody smells great but there are many products in the market that can help before and after exercising. Having the essentials to wash away sweat and dirt post-workout is key. OffCourt's Gym Bag Kit is tailored for post-sweat skin, equipped with everything you need to emerge from your workout feeling, looking, and smelling great. It contains conveniently sized bottles of our performance body spray, which is an aluminum-free whole body deodorant that can be used underarms or all over the body before or after a workout. The gym bag kit also has a travel-friendly Body wash that is sulfate-free and enriched with glycolic and lactic acids that gently exfoliate and hydrate the skin. Lastly, there is a lightweight facial hydrator to apply to your clean skin after the shower to hydrate your face.

Gym Bag Kit


5. Get Started

Now, the only thing left is to start! As you begin your workout routine, keep these tips in mind:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to warm up and cool down with easy walking or gentle stretching. 
  • Be creative. Maybe you walk, bicycle and row. But don't stop there. Take a weekend hike with your family or spend an evening ballroom dancing. Find activities you enjoy and add them to your fitness routine.
  • Listen to your body. If you feel pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or nausea, take a break. You may be pushing yourself too hard.
  • Be flexible. If you're not feeling good, it's okay to take a day or two off.

6. Check your progress

Measure your fitness level six weeks into your workout schedule, and then reassess periodically every few months. How's your progress? You might consider increasing your exercise duration if necessary or find that you're already meeting your fitness targets.

Tips for Beginners

We have given you so much information that you might still be figuring out how to start exercising and what kind of workout is better for you. Regardless of the  decision you make, keep these tips in mind:

  • Stay Hydrated: Replenishing fluids during exercise is essential for maintaining optimal performance, especially when exercising in hot temperatures.
  • Optimize your nutrition:  Be sure to consume a balanced diet to support your fitness program.
  • Don't skip warm-up and cool down:  It’s key to prevent injuries and improve your athletic performance.
  • Listen to your body: Be mindful of your limits If you feel pain or discomfort while exercising. Stop and rest as needed. Pushing through the pain is not a good idea, as it can cause injuries.

Final Thoughts

To start exercising, especially if you feel out of shape, can be challenging. However, having real and measurable fitness goals can help you maintain a workout routine in the long term.

The goal is to start slowly, build up your fitness level, and let your body rest from time to time to help prevent injuries. Keeping track of your progress can help you stay motivated and achieve your goals. So no more excuses, grab your water bottle to stay hydrated and start enjoying the benefits of an active lifestyle today! OffCourt functional body products are going to be there to support your hygiene needs every step of the way.

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