How to Start a Fitness Routine for Weight Loss

Posted: June 22, 2010 in Getting Active by

Almost every weight loss expert will tell you that adding physical activity into your life improves your weight loss efforts. Even products that claim to produce miraculous weight loss results suggest adding “a sensible diet and exercise” for best results. But if you’ve never exercised regularly before, figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. Follow these simple steps to get moving towards your weight loss goals:

  1. Walk: It’s easy and you already know how to do it. All you need is a comfortable pair of walking shoes to get started. Go outside and walk as quickly as you can for as long as you can. If this means you spend 10 minutes walking around your block, that’s OK. That’s 10 more minutes of physical activity than you did yesterday.
  2. Walk farther: After you’ve been walking for several days, you’ll notice that your endurance is improving. Set small goals for yourself to walk a little bit more. If you walked for 10 minutes every day last week, try walking for 12 or 15 minutes this week.
  3. Walk faster: You can’t spend all day exercising, no matter how important weight loss is to you. Once you’ve reached about 30 minutes of continuous walking, bump up the intensity of your workout by walking more quickly. Start paying attention to the distance you’ve walked, and focus on covering more ground in the same amount of time.
  4. Change it up: Doing the same exercise for weeks on end will get boring. That doesn’t mean you don’t care enough about weight loss or aren’t disciplined enough; it means you’re human. To stay motivated, change up your routine a bit. You might try a new walking route or experiment with a new exercise altogether. Try riding a bike, swimming, or jogging. Expect to make changes to your routine at least every 3 months, if not sooner.

You’re officially exercising! Once you get comfortable with the idea of making fitness apart of your life, continue to look for new ways to be physically active. You might add strength training to your routine, consider taking a class, or join a sports league! The options ahead of you are endless. Just start by taking a walk.