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How to Start a Fitness Routine 

How to Start a Fitness Routine

Embarking on a fitness journey is an exciting step towards a healthier, more energized you. But where do you begin? Don’t worry, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to craft a sustainable and enjoyable routine.

Setting Realistic Goals

The key to success lies in setting SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Instead of aiming for a vague goal of “getting in shape,” aim for something like “walk briskly for 30 minutes three times a week for the next month.” This clear target allows you to track progress and celebrate milestones, keeping you motivated.

Finding Activities You Enjoy

Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore. Explore different activities until you discover something you genuinely enjoy. Maybe it’s the camaraderie of group fitness classes, the meditative flow of yoga, the thrill of a dance workout, or the invigorating power of swimming. There’s a perfect fit for everyone.

The beauty of fitness is its versatility. It can cater to various needs and limitations. My friend, who recently had laminectomy surgery at Uprite Medical, found that gentle yoga helped her regain strength and flexibility during her laminectomy recovery.

This is just one example. Whether you’re young or old, have limited mobility, or are recovering from an injury, there’s a fitness activity out there for you. Perhaps you enjoy the low-impact movements of swimming or water aerobics. Maybe you find joy in the social atmosphere of group fitness classes. Or, if you prefer a more solitary approach, there are countless bodyweight exercises you can do at home. The key is to explore different options and find something you genuinely enjoy and that aligns with your doctor’s recommendations.

Building Your Routine

Start gradually. Begin with 2-3 workouts per week, lasting 20-30 minutes each. As your fitness improves, you can gradually increase the duration and frequency of your workouts. Here’s a basic structure to consider:

  • Warm-up (5-10 minutes): Prepare your body for exercise with light cardio like jumping jacks or jogging in place, followed by dynamic stretches.
  • Workout (20-30 minutes): This is the core of your routine. Choose activities that target different muscle groups – think cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
  • Cool-down (5-10 minutes): Gradually bring your heart rate down with static stretches to improve flexibility and prevent soreness.

Warm-up, Cool-down, and Proper Form

Never underestimate the importance of a proper warm-up and cool-down. They prepare your body for exercise and prevent injuries. Additionally, focusing on proper form during your workouts ensures you maximize results and minimize the risk of strain.

Staying Motivated

Motivation can ebb and flow. Here are some tips to stay on track:

  • Find a workout buddy: Having a partner keeps you accountable and adds a social element to your workouts.
  • Track your progress: Seeing your improvement is a fantastic motivator. Use a fitness tracker or journal to monitor your workouts.
  • Reward yourself: Celebrate your milestones with healthy rewards, like a new workout outfit or a relaxing massage.
  • Focus on the positive: Shift your mindset from the negatives of exercise to the positive benefits – increased energy, improved mood, and a stronger body.


Starting a fitness routine is a commitment to your overall well-being. By setting realistic goals, finding activities you enjoy, and building a sustainable routine, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals. Remember, consistency is key. Take it one step at a time, celebrate your progress, and enjoy the journey towards a healthier, happier you!

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