Getting Started With Exercise

This article was written in collaboration with TOVI expert, Dr. Tara Coletta. Learn more about Dr. Coletta here.

We all know exercise is good for us. It can help with weight loss, lowering blood pressure, managing blood glucose, stress management, and sleep quality (to name just a few benefits!).  Certain types of exercise can even prevent osteoporosis and other joint and muscle issues.

Understanding the benefits of exercise, however, doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to get moving. Exercise is highly personal, and it can be extremely intimidating to put yourself out there and start getting fit. It’s even harder if you’re surrounded by other people that don’t exercise either.

Luckily, we’ve put together a few straightforward tips and tricks to help you get going.


1. Start with walks.

If you’re not sure where to begin, get moving with one of the most basic forms of exercise out there: walking. Set up a plan to go on regular walks, and keep in mind that every little bit counts. Just 10 minutes of walking is better than nothing. Before you know it, you’ll realize you can go faster and walk for longer. You can used TOVI to set a SMART goal, or visit this TOVI blog for more information about SMART plans.


2. Build slowly.

Every “super fit” person you see in public or online had to start somewhere, so don’t worry about heading to the gym every day of the week. If you’re not currently exercising, focus on starting with a small, manageable routine, like workouts once or twice a week. It’s always better to ease in slowly and stick with it, rather than jumping in head-first and ending up demotivated, injured, or burnt out.


3. Find something you enjoy.

If you’re bored or unenthused with your workout, change it up! You don’t have to do the same thing everyday to see results, in fact exercise is easier to stick to when you enjoy it. That could mean walking with your pet or friends on one day and doing a workout video another.  Find what works for you, and don’t be afraid to explore what’s out there!


4. Get support.

When you’re first getting active, it can be useful to have people supporting you, especially if that person is a qualified fitness professional. Group classes or working one-on-one with a personal trainer are great ways to get more guidance and support as you’re starting out.  If you’d rather work out alone, you can also try workout videos.


5. Remember that starting is the hardest part.

Exercising can be scary, but remember that things will get easier.  By making the choice to start exercising, you’re investing in your wellbeing. Enjoy the process and be proud of every step you take towards getting healthier.


For more information on movement and exercise, check out these TOVI articles:

Topics: Fitness, Exercise

Ashley Miller-Dykeman, MA

Written by Ashley Miller-Dykeman, MA

Ashley is a science communicator and writer with a background in biology (BA, Boston University) as well as bioethics and science policy (MA, Duke University). In addition to writing for TOVI, Ashley is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a loving dog mom.