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Exercise - Get Active - Start here

So, you’ve decided to make a change and start exercising.

Exercising for beginners

Overview of exercising

So, you’ve decided to make a change and start exercising. There are so many benefits of exercising but to genuinely reap them you will need to be consistent in your workouts as well as eating a balanced diet, having a regular sleeping pattern and managing stress. 

You do not need to workout intensely at the gym everyday to see results, even just increasing your activity level slightly will improve your physical and mental health. There are so many forms of exercise that you can choose, from doing household chores to dancing to bootcamp workouts. It’s important to select an activity which you enjoy, this will help you stick to it and add into your routine. 

How long should I exercise for?

You should aim to get around 150 minutes of a medium level of aerobic activity a week or 75 minutes of strenuous aerobic activity, or you could combine the two. It is suggested to spread this out over the week. In addition, you should aim to exercise muscle groups twice a week using resistance or weights. 

Benefits of exercising

There are so many benefits of exercising for both physical and mental health including; 

Boosts happiness

Incorporating exercise into your routine helps improve mood and decreases levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Exercise helps the body produce endorphins which produce feelings of positivity and reduces the pain perception. Also, it increases the brain’s sensitivity to norepinephrine and serotonin which helps relieve depression. Exercise also helps to reduce the effects of anxiety in some people, it can be a distraction and makes people aware of their own mental state. 

Weight loss

Regular exercise increases your metabolic rate, which helps you burn more calories. Combining resistance and aerobic exercise can help to maintain muscle mass whilst also losing weight. 

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Exercise – Get Active – Start here

         Beginner Workouts

Beginners exercise FAQs

How long should you exercise for?

You should aim to get around 150 minutes of a medium level of aerobic activity a week or 75 minutes of strenuous aerobic activity.

What are the benefits of exercising?

There are so many benefits of exercising including; improves mental health, control your weight, improves mood, reduce the risk of heart disease and helps manage blood sugar levels. 

Is getting a personal trainer worth it?

There are so many benefits of a persoanl trainer including; fast results, injuries are reduced, helps you break through boundaries and helps you reach your goals. 

What are some basic exercises?

To name a few some basic exercises are;

  • Lunges
  • Squats,
  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Planks
  • Situps
  • Press ups
Why is walking a beneficial exercise?

Walking is a great cardio exercise that works large muscles in your body and strengthens your heart. 

Benefits bones and muscles

Exercising helps build and maintain strong bones and muscles. With a sufficient protein intake and physical activity such as weight lifting, you can build muscle. Practicing physical activity often can help reduce muscle loss and maintain strength as you get older. It helps to build bone density and helps to prevent osteoporosis. 

Increases energy levels

Exercise can help to boost levels of energy for all types of people and significantly in people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. Sometimes, it has also been considered more beneficial to patients than several treatments in lifting mood and energy.  

Reduces the risk of getting chronic disease

Exercise improves body composition, cardiovascular fitness and insulin sensitivity whilst decreasing levels of blood fat and blood pressure. Chronic disease can be caused by a lack of exercise as well as other diseases and diabetes. 

Helps skin health

Regular exercise can increase the body’s production of antioxidants which helps to protect cells. It also helps to stimulate the blood flow around your body, which can promote youthful looking skin. 

Improves memory and brain health

Exercise helps to improve thinking skills, protect memory and brain functioning. It increases your heart rate which then promotes blood flow and oxygen around your brain. In addition, it stimulates hormone production that increases brain cell growth and increases the hippocampus. As well as reducing the risk of schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Improves sleep quality

During exercise your body often gets tired out and your body’s temperature will increase, which then stimulates sleep later on. This is especially beneficial in the elderly who often suffer with sleep disorders. 

Reduce pain

Exercising regularly can help to lower pain perception and increase pain tolerance. Several studies also have found that exercise partially relieves chronic pain including, fibromyalgia and back pain as well as other health conditions. 

Where to start

If this is the first time you have properly considered incorporating exercise into your routine, it can be difficult to know where to start and you may have many questions. Should I get a gym membership? Should I make my own home gym? Should I start running? You may not enjoy the first activity that you choose but there are so many options. 

Gym membership

This is a membership that you usually pay for monthly at a gym. This can be a great place to start as you will be given access to an array of exercising equipment. There may also be opportunities to attend fitness classes such as yoga or HIIT. If you are interested in swimming you could also get a membership at a gym with a pool that you could use. 

Classes

Classes can be a great way to meet new people, follow a structured workout and try new exercises. There are so many different types of classes such as cardio classes including; aerobic workouts like zumba, aqua aerobics, HIIT and boot camp style training. Do you have more of an interest in holistic style workouts, focusing on your body and mind? Or an interest in working on your flexibility, balance or stability? Activities like pilates, yoga or tai-chi have so many benefits. There are also some non cardio classes which have more of a focus on strength using resistance training and weights. Examples include bodypump, using different weights to target and tone all muscle groups. 

Personal trainer

Do you want to get fit and active but dont have the motivation to stick to a routine or need a bit of guidance? A personal trainer can help you develop an exercise routine, reach your goals and provide meal plans. If you choose to get yourself a personal trainer, there are so many benefits including; 

  • Fast results – personal trainers help to monitor your progress and develop a training plan to help you effectively reach your goals. 
  • Goals – A personal trainer and yourself can set realistic goals and ways to achieve them
  • Avoid injuries – exercises are tailored around a clients needs to reduce the risk of any injuries
  • Establish lasting habits – PTs help clients understand that fitness should be a priority 
  • Break through boundaries – Personal trainers can find new techniques to push clients further and keep them motivated

Back to basics

Sometimes the most simple things can be extremely beneficial. Are you wanting to get active but don’t know where to begin? Just taking a walk can be a great place to start. Walking is free, simple and an easy way to become healthier, get active and lose weight. Swimming is also a simple, affordable and great way to get active no matter what age or ability you are. You could try swimming in a pool, open water swimming or aqua aerobics. 

Things to consider

Stay hydrated

It is important to stay hydrated, especially when exercising to maintain hydration levels. Drinking fluids, particularly water, helps to maintain optimal performance whilst exercising, as well as aiding recovery to prepare you for your next workout. 

Nutrition

Eating a healthy balanced diet will support you in your fitness routine. All of the food groups have different nutritional values which can boost your energy levels, help with recovery and allow you to perform at a higher level. Carbohydrates can give you energy and fuel your muscles, they also help to absorb amino acids and replenish your glycogen stores. Types of carbohydrates include pasta, rice and fruit. In addition, protein helps to build and repair muscles, foods include; fish, meat, eggs and nuts. Eating healthy fats are great for making your energy levels longer, burn fat and reduce hunger. For example, avocado, cheese and dark chocolate. 

Warm up

Warming up before you workout can be highly beneficial in preventing injuries and improving athletic performance. It also helps to reduce feelings of soreness after a workout and can improve flexibility. Before working out try simple aerobic exercises such as walking lunges, a walk or shoulder rolls. 

Cool down

Adding a cool down after a workout is very important as it helps your body to return to its previous state. Setting aside a few minutes after your workout can help prevent injuries, muscle soreness, restore breathing patterns and blood circulation. For example you could go for a light walk or have a stretch. 

Consider what your body needs

You do not want to throw yourself into the deep end if your body is not used to exercising regularly. Consider your limits and understand that suddenly working out harder and faster is not always the best approach. When exercising, if you feel any discomfort or pain you should stop for a minute and rest your body. Continuing to exercise in pain will only cause injuries. Also taking rest days can be beneficial for recovery. 

Taking your time to figure out what exercises you enjoy, your goals and where you want to progress can help you stick to a routine now and in the future. This can be difficult, but with real goals, there are so many benefits which can help you live a happy and healthy life. There are so many types of exercise that you can select from, choose some that you like and keep your workouts varied to prevent boredom and enhance motivation. You should work at your own pace and build up gradually to increase your fitness levels. Also tracking your fitness progress or working out with friends and family is a great way to stay motivated and help you reach your goals. 

Are you ready? Start your fitness journey today!

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