How to begin exercising

Tips to kick off a realistic fitness regime

Written by spunout


No matter who we are, if we’re starting exercise for the very first time or even after a long break, we’re probably going to be unfit. Getting fit is a journey and takes patience and perseverance, but there are some things you can do to make sure you ease your way into it all to make the start point as easy at it can be.

What should I do when I take up a new exercise?


When we exercise we’re losing the water out of our bodies quickly by sweating. Making sure you’re well hydrated before exercise is key, but this does not mean chugging a bottle of water 10 mins before you get active. Check out our hydration article for top tips.

Watch your energy levels

If we’re tired and go out to try and exercise, we may turn ourselves off from starting again. Making sure you’ve had enough to eat (about 1-2 hours before exercise) is key. Also making sure that you’ve had enough sleep and aren’t exhausted when you first start out on your programme. Exercise gives us energy, but when we’re starting out, you want to give your body and mind the best chance to keep it going.

Set intervals

When you’re first getting going with working out, pacing yourself and breaking up the sessions are key, to build up to a level of fitness. So walk, run, walk, run. Breaking up the cycle, walk, run, swim or whatever it is you’re into is key, so that you get your body used to exercising. So nice and slow to start, build up the intensity, and back to slow, then repeat.

Goal Setting

Setting goals can help you to keep track of your own person progress. You may begin by walking arond a park but aim to be able to jog half of it. Speak to people you trust about your goals to help judge if they are achievable and use them as encouragement to keep up your exercise routine. 

Warm up and warm down

You want to be able to feel ok after getting out for your first few sessions. So your warm up and warm down are essential. Light jogging or brisk walking is a good way to warm up. Finish your work out a bit away from your house so you aren’t tempted to just sit down. If you are doing something inside, try jogging on the spot. Stretching is also key, to keep your muscles from getting too stiff, here’s a good stretching chart for you:

Sample stretch chart from get Ireland active website

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