Beginner’s Guide to Exercise

Starting a new exercise routine is a great way to kick off your journey to better health. And it’s easy! The hardest part is knowing where to start. Here are our top tips for anyone new to fitness.

How to Get Started

First things first, check with your Doctor to make sure any new exercise regimen is right for you. If you’re taking medications, ask your Care Team if you should take any extra precautions before exercising.

Next, make sure you have the proper gear you’ll need like comfortable and supportive tennis shoes, athletic apparel that will be comfortable during exercise, and a water bottle. Be sure to carry glucose tablets and a snack that contains a protein and a carbohydrate with you – this is important in case you have a low blood sugar while exercising.  

How to Choose an Activity

The top rule for starting any new exercise routine is to keep it simple and take your time. Start with low-impact activities that allow you to gradually increase your intensity, but most importantly, choose one you enjoy doing. Here are the top four to consider:

There’s a reason walking is always top on the list for best physical activities – it requires no equipment, you can do it anytime, anywhere, and it’s safe. You can easily increase the intensity or scale down to meet your needs, and it’s a perfect starting point to get you into an exercise routine.

To start, walk 5 minutes at a brisk pace- your heart rate should be elevated. Gradually work your way up to 30 minutes of walking and increase your intensity, to your comfort level, by adding speed, carrying hand weights, or climbing stairs.  In the beginning, consistency is more important than intensity, so start easy and work your way up to the 30-minute goal with added intensity.

Senior woman swimming

Water exercises are great for anyone who is new to exercise. These activities minimize pressure on joints while burning calories. Lap swimming may be too intense when starting out, but simply running in water with the help of a pool float is a perfect place to begin.

To start, stand waist deep in the pool and do some jumping jacks. Then move deeper until your feet don’t touch the ground. Move your legs like you are running, and you will begin to move across the pool. Run in place for 10-15 minutes.

Overweight women exercising in a gym.

If you need help sticking to an exercise routine, consider group exercise classes, like Zumba or Step. These classes are fun and a great place to meet new, health-minded friends.

To start, arrive early to class and introduce yourself to the instructor. Let them know you’re a beginner so they can provide guidance and ways to modify exercises that will suit your needs.


Happy woman riding exercise bike and looking at the camera.

Biking burns lots of calories with little impact on your joints, and there are a variety of bikes to choose from. Stationary bikes allow you to easily track your distance and pace and add intensity as you become more comfortable. If you need more back support, use a bike with a lower seat that has a back support.

To start, peddle for 5 min and rest for 1 minute. Continue this sequence for a total of 15 to 20 minutes. You can gradually make it more challenging by turning the knob to add resistance. Just remember, take it slow until you get comfortable with the exercise.

Now, lace up your shoes, grab some water, and get active! Make sure to share your new activities with us so we can celebrate your new accomplishment with you!

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