How to start an exercise routine

Looking to start the new year off in the right direction but not too sure how? Read on to find out how best to start an exercise routine

By Hollie Maskell, Physiotherapist

It is common around this time of year to feel de-motivated, let habits slip, or just generally move less. The World Heath Organisation recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Moderate exercise is classified as exercise that allows you still to talk but not sing. Many people refer to exercise as running or cycling but exercise can refer to any form of movement.

This December we are all about giving the gift of health, and starting 2022 in the right direction, so why not get into the routine now and be your best self in the new year.

With all this in mind, below are some great tips on how to kick start an exercise routine:

  1. Set goals

Setting goals can be a useful tool in order to stay motivated and stay on track. It doesn’t have to be a long-term goal that you aim to achieve in a years’ time, but small, short-term goals are more achievable. For example, set a goal to walk 20 minutes every day, or use your phone to set a step goal every day.

2. Routine

By incorporating exercise into your routine helps you to stay on track. If you know you have a break at the same time every day this would be a great time to set aside for exercise. By having exercise as part of your daily routine it helps to form a habit and you are more likely to stick to it.

3. Small steps

Start small and gradually build it up. No one expects you to run a marathon but if you have never done a certain exercise or are returning to exercise, try doing the exercise for a few minutes and then build this up. This also helps to prevent injuries.

4. Choose something you love

If you know you hate a certain type of exercise, this is going to make it harder to stay on track. Choose something you love as you’ll enjoy doing it! And if you think you might get bored of one type of exercise, mix it up! Dedicate one style of workout to a specific day in the week and do 2/3 different things in a week!

5. Find a training buddy or join a team

If you find a training buddy this helps you hold yourself accountable to exercise and keeps you motivated. Or if you join an exercise class or a team sport it’s a great form of socialising which can be more rewarding.

6. Be persistent

Try not to give up! On those dark cold mornings or evenings its easy to feel deflated but every time you do any form of exercise endorphins are released which makes you feel good. I promise you will feel so much better after exercising. The hardest part is starting, once you have done that you will feel much better, trust me!

Leslie Abrahams