Starting a workout program can be confusing, but we’re here to help walk you through each detail step-by-step and help you discover what to do in order to make the most out of the time you have. Discouraged about being a beginner? Don’t be. Think of it this way: you’ve got nowhere to go but up from here! You can be assured that it is completely possible to do a beginner workout at home and accomplish all of your fitness goals right in the comfort of your own space! Below, you’ll find tons of information, but most importantly, remember this: a beginner workout at home should be simple and inexpensive. So let’s get going!
BABY STEPSThe first rule you absolutely need to follow is to keep it simple! The most common mistake people make when starting a new fitness routine is doing too much too soon. Jumping in headfirst and going too hard and for too long will make you sore, possibly injured, and overall feeling defeated, which leaves you wondering why you started in the first place. The key to sticking with it is BABY STEPS! So here are two simple rules that will help guide your first few weeks:
1. KEEP IT SHORTKeep in mind that you want to leave the workout feeling good and energized. Got ten minutes? That’s really all you need to get started. Take the first week and commit to exercise three days for ten minutes each. Possible? Yes! And that’s the point. Goals need to be reasonable and attainable. Is ten minutes enough? If you check out one of our ten-minute at-home workouts, you will be convinced! They are challenging and fun, and you can do everything from ten minutes of butt and back strength to ten minutes of indoor walking!
When you achieve success, you are more motivated to keep going. Start with a base and just keep layering or adding to it. Think about it—in just a few weeks you’ll be at 30 minutes a day, which is the ultimate goal for good health! The CDC recommends 150 minutes a week. That’s 30 minutes five days a week, or however you choose to work it out. It’s not far from that first ten-minute goal; it really isn’t!
2. KEEP IT MODERATEThe second part of the baby step theory is keeping your intensity at a moderate level. There is going to be plenty of time to increase intensity as your body adapts to the extra activity. But that is not the place to start. We’ve all seen the television weight-loss shows that quarantine people at weight-loss camps and promote working out eight hours a day and pushing until you “feel the pain.” But the reality of those shows is that you look down the road after the show has ended, and you find out a good majority of them have fallen off the wagon.
It was too drastic and too painful and it wasn’t sustainable. You need something realistic. Start with low impact and moderate intensity, where you’re working hard enough to breathe a bit heavier and start a healthy sweat, but not so hard you are panting through your mouth and dripping all over. Again, let your muscles and joints adapt to the extra activity level. Our Ten-Minute Indoor Walking for Beginners or 10-Minute Booty Blast might be the perfect places to start!
DO WHAT YOU LOVEOK, maybe love is a strong word choice. Do something you like—somewhat. The idea is to choose exercise that you enjoy! Another very common reason for people to quit working out is that they are miserable! If you hate running, you don’t need to run. There are plenty of other ways to get some good cardio exercise. I know people who love dance and thrive on dance-based workouts and those who can’t find their right from their left, but get pumped about lifting weights.
What do you like? Swimming, walking, pumping iron, or riding a bike? Find something you enjoy and begin where it feels good. Once you’ve got some movement under your belt (no pun intended), the fitness pieces you are missing can be addressed. One thing we love about all our free fitness videos is the diversity of movement! You could do one of our barre classes one day and a boot camp class the next! We’ve loaded up yoga classes for you to try or strength training you can do at home. The options are endless—there’s something for everyone!
MAKE A PLANHere’s an oldie but a goodie: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. In order to truly stick with a new exercise program, you have to make it a priority. Anything in your life that is a priority becomes part of your weekly plan—priorities make your calendar! Before you begin, take the time to physically write down or put on your phone the days and times you will work out this week. Add it to your calendar and don’t let anything touch it. It is now an appointment. If you’re super busy, your best plan is probably first thing in the morning. Get up 30 minutes earlier (we know—sounds horrible, but it really isn’t) and get it done.
Not possible? Hold dinner when you get home at night until you finish your workout. You can put a small power snack in the car or your bag to eat on the way home, but tell yourself NO WORKOUT = NO DINNER! That will motivate you. Once you have your time established, make sure to get things ready in advance. Put your shoes and clothes out. Get the equipment you need and set it out where you can see it. Have a water bottle in the fridge and ready to grab. Every step you can take ahead of time will make it that much more likely you will follow through.
At Get Healthy U TV we’ve created simple workout calendars designed to take the thinking out of the picture and give you a strategy that is ready to go at the tip of your fingers! See them on your laptop, or better yet, print them off and pin them up so you can cross out each workout you’ve done for mega satisfaction!
GET YOUR MIND RIGHTYour mindset matters. Don’t think like a newbie, even though you are. Keep telling yourself, “I am now an athlete” or “I am now an exerciser.” You’ll execute new things, but you’re going to think like an old pro. Be confident and commit! There are going to be good days and bad days, good workouts and bad workouts. Even people who have exercised for years will tell you that it’s a rollercoaster.
So, on the days you’re feeling great—go for it and work hard! On the days you feel low energy or just not up for it, tell yourself you are going to do SOMETHING. Even a short walk or gentle yoga, keep your commitment (unless you are legitimately sick.) Most importantly, keep your goals in mind! It is an excellent goal to want to feel better and look better! Or maybe your goal is to get off medication or be able to lift your grandchild. Whatever it is, write that down. Put up photos to motivate you. Do whatever it takes to focus your mind in the right direction. What motivates you?
GET THE NECESSITIESCommitting to a beginner workout at home should not be an expensive endeavor. One you have established what kind of workouts you plan to do, go through it in your mind and write down exactly what you will need. Obviously the most basic necessity is a good pair of shoes. If you think you’ll do some strength training and kickboxing, then cross-trainers are your best option. If you’re certain you prefer just a walking program, then a good pair of walking shoes are the way to go. A little online research might help you decide.
Clothing matters too. Although you may be fine throwing on an old T-shirt and sweats for an at-home workout, keep in mind that you dress as you feel. Just like a nice suit or dress makes a professional feel and look more confident, a new tank top and workout pants can help you get in the mood and feel like you’re more in the game. Not only that, but there is a practical reason behind purchasing exercise clothes.
Today’s fabrics are built to keep you cool and designed to wick away sweat. A cotton T-shirt will get wet, heavy, and uncomfortable, while a wicking fabric will keep you cool, dry and moving without interruption. These fabrics do not need to be from a fancy, name-brand boutique. Some of the best options are found at lower-cost retailers such as Target.
The only other equipment you’ll need to consider is based on your workout of choice. A few sets of dumbbells and resistance bands for strength training? A yoga mat? Perhaps an indoor or outdoor bicycle? But lower cost is the way to go, and for something like a good walking program, you don’t even need a treadmill. Follow our Walk and Tone videos online for walking and moving that is fun and innovative.
FOCUS ON NUTRITIONNutrition is as important as exercise. You’ve heard the phrase: “You can’t out train a bad diet” and boy, that is so true! They work together for the best outcome! Good nutrition will enhance your workout and help you burn fat more efficiently. Eating empty carbohydrates and a lot of packaged food makes you tired and hungry more often and zaps the important energy needed for your workout.
If you aren’t sure where to start with good eating, we have an amazing guide called The Clean Eating E-Book. This book does all the thinking for you from grocery lists to meal plans and more. And when you have enough time, there is plenty of information contained to teach you why you should eat real food and avoid fad diets. We even have short videos on Get Healthy U TV that give you tips on proper eating.
MOVE MORE ALL DAYSetting aside time for a workout is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. But sitting around the rest of the day can negate all of your hard-earned efforts to be the best you possible! Take frequent stand and stretch breaks. Walk to a co-worker’s office instead of emailing. Use your lunch break to get a short walk in and have a bite to eat afterwards. Carry your laundry up and down the stairs in several trips rather than one heavy, awkward load. Your body was made to move!
Fitness trackers have become all the rage and we love them. Why not take advantage of tracking your daily steps and have a daily goal you want to try meet? Maybe you end up burning a few extra hundred calories a day. Well, over the course of a week, a month, a year—that can be the difference of keeping the annual five-pound weight gain at bay.
Now is the time to start. Just remember you are never too late or too old to start taking better care of YOU! It has to start somewhere, so allow yourself to be a beginner, draw the line in the sand, and start today! In addition to the workouts we already suggested, here are a few more of our favorite workouts for beginners.
Check them out: