A Quick Guide to Exercise for Beginners


You did it!

You’ve decided you want to start exercising.

So the question now is 1) What is the best exercise for beginners? 2) Where and how do you start? 

Believe it or not, the first thing you need to do is get out a piece of paper and a pen. A pencil probably. Seriously, stop reading this right now and go grab one. I’ll wait…

Good, you’re back! Now that you’ve got your pen and paper here’s what you do. Write down your why!

Your why is what drives you to do anything in life. Your purpose! It’s important to have one for anything you want to do, but for now, you need to find one specific to your fitness goals. In Fact, that will determine how much physical activity you’ll need.

Why do you want to start exercising?

No matter what your fitness level is, this is the most important and often missed step in the fitness game. The trick here is to be completely honest with yourself.

If you want to start exercising because you want to look good naked – WRITE THAT DOWN! There’s no shame in that. It’s better than not having any set goals or targets to reach. And be specific.

Here are some examples to get you started:

  • I want a revenge body to show my ex what they’re missing
  • I want to look hot when I take that beach vacation
  • I want to do a bodybuilding competition
  • I want to improve my cardio health
  • I want to lose ten pounds within…
  • I want to run a marathon
  • I want six-packs

It doesn’t matter what it is. Write one down so you can always remember why and what you’re working towards. We all have different starting points when it comes to fitness.

You might be a former athlete who hasn’t stepped foot in the gym since your senior season or the closest
you’ve ever come to being active is carry four bags of groceries up a flight of stairs all at once (which is a very underrated workout, mind you!)

No matter where you fall in the fitness spectrum, it’s important to identify where that is and be honest with yourself about your starting point.

Former athletes tend to be the worst and overshoot where they should start. You may probably need some exercise testing to prevent any form of pain or injury.

Okay, okay. We’re on step three and you still haven’t done anything active yet. I know, but trust me we’re getting there. By now you’ve

  1.  set your why and
  2. assessed where you fall on the fitness spectrum.

Now you need to actually get a plan together.

First things first. Let’s dive in…

1. Where are you working out?

So now, decide. Are you going to a gym, working out at home, or taking group classes?

Always have the end in mind.

A place to work out or exercise is one very important decision to make as a beginner. In fact, this step can either motivate you to succeed or discourage you from getting started.

The proximity and availability of a gym studio or health club to you can be critical to your success as a beginner. Many people turn to make this an excuse to either skip or even quit a fruitful beginning to their fitness journey.

Are you just trying to get fitter, lose weight, or gain weight?

Your ultimate goal should override the place you finally decide to start from. Always have the end in mind. What you have set out to achieve will inform your decision to continue to the end.

2. How often should I workout?

Getting into shape doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym every day. It’s about setting a routine for yourself that you can keep up with! If your schedule only allows for a couple of days a week then go for it on those two days.

Make the most out of your time in the gym during those two days. If you can make it five days a week and want to commit to that, great! Make it count for those five days. There is no secret sauce. The real key to success is consistency and setting yourself up to be consistent.

If you don’t know where to start, 3 or 4 days a week is a great starting point. You are in the top 10% who are making a difference. You’ll start seeing results.  And you’ll know whether this is right for you or not.

3. What action do you take?

If you’re someone who needs more accountability then a personal trainer or group class might be what you need. You’ll have a set time each week to hit the gym that is guided by an expert. Which is great.

Get a Personal Trainer

A personal trainer is going to provide you more one-on-one coaching with nutritional guidance and workouts tailored specifically to your goals.

You most likely won’t have to think about what you’re doing and can trust the guidance and expertise of an expert to help you know the various exercise for beginners and how to reach whatever fitness goals you have.

A usual personal training session runs about forty-five minutes to an hour, which isn’t too much time out of your day. You won’t be wondering what you should do to get in shape.

Join a Group class

If you’re brand new to fitness a personal trainer can help ease you into working out without the monotony of just running on a treadmill or elliptical. It’s a great option for many people regardless of their fitness level. However, you may prefer to workout in a group.

Group classes come in many forms these days. We live in a time where fitness is really booming and you have so many options. Spin studios, kickboxing classes, CrossFit gyms, body boot camps, home gyms, etc… the list really goes on and on.

We are long past the days of walking into a traditional gym and running for thirty minutes.

Group classes are great for a sense of community and focused exercise for beginners. You can still get the focused instruction of a personal training session without the intimidation of one on one if that’s not your style.

Just like with a personal training option, you’re able to spend just an hour busting your ass to get the most out of your time in the gym.

It also doesn’t hurt to make some new friends who share some common interests and might help keep you accountable with the goals you’ve set for yourself as a beginner.

Start Aerobics Cardio Exercise at Home

There are so many options to get you started. Investing in home gym equipment is great for the working professional who doesn’t have a lot of time on their hands.

However, there are people who prefer to do it all in the comfort of your home. And that can also be a great place to start as a beginner.

If there’s a treadmill, an exercise bike, or an all-in-one home gym set up in your own home, it cuts out the travel time to and from the gym and you can get just as intense of a workout without paying a monthly gym fee. Ideally, you release yourself off the stress of gym memberships and subscriptions.

That is not a fun thing to do if you can’t keep up with the time and schedules.

If you want to lose weight you’ll pick something with a little more cardio. If you want to get bigger you’ll do less cardio at a high intensity and lift weights more often.

It all depends on your why!

Maybe none of these options sound really appealing to you right now and that’s okay! You can always pick that at home option. This varies from investing in a few pieces of gym equipment.

An all-in-one home gym machine like the Soloflex can be a good place to start. A cardio machine – treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bike, rowing machine, etc.. Workout DVDs, live online spin classes that come with the Peloton app as well as new high-tech equipment such as the portable Gorilla Bow can be your friend both at home and as you travel.

We actually have an article on some great at-home cardio machines if you want to lose weight, tone your muscle or improve your cardiovascular health.

Why You Should Start Exercising Now!

At the end of the day starting your fitness journey boils down to three basic steps.

1) Know your WHY – this is what you’ll look to when things get hard and you are asking yourself why you’re doing this in the first place.

2) Set a plan – You can’t achieve any goal you set for yourself without a plan

3) Go out and do it! You’ll never know what you can achieve until you actually put your words into action.


Exercise for beginners doesn’t have to be complicated. The real secret you’ve been waiting to hear is consistency. Give yourself time no matter what your goal is! We can’t wait to see where your journey takes you.

There’s a more traditional route of picking an eight or twelve-week workout plan and hitting it at your own pace as a beginner.

If you’re great at following and being self-accountable then you can start following a gym routine that incorporates cardio and weightlifting to help you reach your fitness goals fast.r

So go work your back-side off.

Get Started!


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