How to Get Started on an Exercise Routine

Want to start exercising but are not sure how to get it going? These six steps will set you off in the right direction.

Related To:

Fall Jogging

Step 1: Assess Health
Before starting any workout routine, run it past your doctor. It’s vitally important to consider any health issues or orthopedic injuries (old or new). There’s no point getting started if you’re just going to end up putting yourself at risk. Once you get the medical green light, start slow – you’re less likely to get hurt that way.

Step 2: Select Exercise

Folks tend to rack their brains to find the “best” type of exercise when the answer is really quite simple. Find something you like! Instead of forcing something that doesn’t interest you, partake in an activity you enjoy — you’re more likely to stick to it. Once you settle on your favorite forms of activity, change things up monthly or seasonally to keep your routine fun and exciting.

Step 3: Set Goals
When embarking on any new exercise endeavor, set realistic goals. Start modestly and slowly work your way into it. Instead of beating yourself up for not hitting the gym seven days a week, commit to two or three days and proudly increase your frequency.

Step 4: Gear Up
Don’t try to get away with using 10-year-old sneakers and gym socks with holes in them. Avoid injury and get the right gear. Invest in good footwear and some basic lightweight clothing. You don’t have to go for broke – shop around to find the best deals. Most of the major name brands like Nike, New Balance and Champion have great products at reasonable prices. Basic equipment like a pedometer or a heart-rate monitor may also come in handy to track progress.

Step 5: Evaluate Expert Advice

There are all kinds of fitness experts out there – all with varying levels of education. Whether you’re working with a trainer or following tips from a fitness-focused media source, beware of anything that promises unrealistic results in a short period of time. If you decide to work with a trainer, check their credentials (look for certifications from NSCA or ACSM). When working with a trainer or fitness instructor, put your safety first. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you aren’t comfortable doing something.

Step 6: Have Fun!
The physical benefits of exercise are extensive but so are the psychological ones. Exercise helps with focus, stress relief and even time management. So what are you waiting for? Listen to that little voice inside your head and get moving.

Next Up

Exercise 101: Fitness Basics

Exercise time is precious. If you want to get the most out of your workouts, follow these tips.

Jump-Start Your Exercise Routine: Q&A With Fitness Trainer Chris Weible

We caught up with trainer Chris Weible from Reebok Sports Club to learn some tips on exercising at home.

14 Ways to Use a Can of Spam

Whether it’s a mainstay in your pantry or you’re trying it for the first time, here are some fresh ways to use budget-friendly Spam.

You Don’t Need to Be Afraid to Cook a Cuisine That’s New to Your Kitchen

Take your cooking repertoire to places it’s never been before with these tips.

New to the Food Network Kitchen App? Here Are 5 Things You Need to Know

Download the app to stream your favorite shows, tune into live cooking classes, and make tons of recipes. Plus, so much more!

How to Bake a Cake: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow this easy guide for mixing, prepping and baking a cake, then watch our how-to video.

9 Small Changes You Can Make to Reduce Waste in 2020

Make your sustainability resolutions last.

I Hated Milk Until I Tried This Hack from Katie Lee

Berry milk has totally changed my life.

Fun Cooking: How to Make Chocolate Tacos

Food Network Magazine shows you how to put a salty spin on an old ice cream-truck favorite, the Choco Taco.

Grate Your Garlic

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens' Katherine Alford: If you're using raw garlic in a dish, grate the cloves on a fine grater.

More from:

Bobby Flay Fit

Stream discovery+

Your favorite shows, personalities, and exclusive originals. All in one place.

Subscribe Now

What's New

Latest Stories