If you’re not currently active, then starting to do more exercise can seem a little daunting. We all know exercise is good for us, but there are many reasons that we might not move as much as we should, from struggling to fit physical activity into a busy schedule, to not knowing how to begin.
Take a look at our top tips below for some advice on getting started. Search for suitable activities near you on our activity finder.
Fit activity into your everyday routine.
If you’re struggling to commit to an exercise class, or keep meaning to do that home workout but never quite get around to it, then try fitting movement into your everyday life. For shorter journeys leave the car at home and walk or cycle to get to where you need to go. Take the stairs instead of the lift when you’re out and about. Fit in short burst of activity at home – try doing some squats whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, or stretches in front of the tv. Jobs around the house such as washing the car, digging the garden and more active housework such as vacuuming can also boost your levels of activity.
Find an activity you enjoy.
It might sound obvious but the best way to make exercise a habit is to find an activity that you look forward to doing, rather than it being something you feel you ought to do. Many people enjoy the social aspect of exercising – look out for organised activities near you that you can take part in, from exercise classes and dance classes to walking football, there a lot of different activities on offer. If organised exercise isn’t your thing, try finding a hobby that encourages movement, such as gardening or outdoor photography.
Get active with others.
Find an exercise buddy to help encourage and support you on your journey to becoming more active. Whether it’s meeting for a walk or run in your local park, or signing up to an activity class, by making a plan to get active together you’re much more likely to commit to it. You can also try getting friends and family or work colleagues involved in an activity challenge – see our campaigns page for ideas.
Walking is great activity for those beginning their physical activity journey, and easy to fit into your daily routine. A daily walk can boost your mood as well as your fitness. If you’re a dog owner, make sure you walk briskly when you take your pet out for their daily exercise – it will be beneficial for you both! Find out more about getting started with walking
Start small and build up If you haven’t been active for a while
It’s easy to get disheartened and give up if you attempt too much to start with. Aim to give yourself achievable goals, and celebrate and reward your successes! Try starting with a short walk, or 5 minutes fitness video each day and aim to increase the amount you do each week. The activity should make you feel warmer and breathe faster.
Use an app to support you
There are lots of fitness apps that can help encourage you to be active. From tracking how far you walk, run or cycle to providing home workouts, apps can be a really useful tool to support you to move more.