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There are literally no good reasons not to start a fitness routine. Making small changes to your lifestyle that incorporate good eating habits and exercise have a myriad of benefits, including:

  • Better sleep
  • Improved health
  • Stress management and
  • Improved mental and emotional health

Knowing all of this, we still struggle to make fitness part of our lifestyle. Many of us simply don’t know where to start and become overwhelmed by the jargon and fitness trends that bombard us. There is good news, however, if you’re trying to get started with fitness. All you need is to implement a few simple steps.

  1. Start with an assessment.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you might have, but chances are you have a pretty good idea about how fit you are or are not. If it’s been a while since you’ve done any exercise, taking a quick fitness assessment is a good idea.

  1. Create a plan.

Decide what your goals are. Do you want to lose weight? Build muscle? Increase your endurance? Choose your exercise plan according to your goals. Begin slowly. It’s recommended that you have a goal of 150 minutes of activity every week, but you may have to work your way up to it. Take your time and be consistent. Remember that ALL activity counts, so add a little more activity into your daily routine. Take walks after lunch, take the stairs at work, or watch television while riding a stationary bike. And be sure to keep track of your progress. People who keep track of their diet and exercise have greater success at losing weight and keeping it off.

  1. Put one foot in front of the other.

The only thing left to do is to get started. While some exercise programs require you to buy equipment or invest in gear, there are plenty of things that you can do that don’t require anything special. Finding a workout partner or an accountability partner is another great way to keep you motivated as you begin your journey. Listen to your body and remember to seek medical help if you experience dizziness, shortness of breath, pain, or nausea.