1. The first rule is to just get out there and do something. Whether it’s walking, swimming, cycling, a fitness class or even going for a run – whatever you can do, do it. Just make sure you get clearance from your doctor first.
2. You might think you’re too overweight or out of shape to exercise, but you have an advantage: generally, overweight people burn more calories than thinner people. That’s because their hearts have to work harder and beat faster – and the higher your heart rate, the more calories you’ll burn. So don’t be afraid of breaking a sweat. Sweat is your friend!
3. If you can, exercise in the morning – not only will you have your workout done and dusted before other things get in the way, but it helps you make better food choices afterwards and will put you in a great mood for the rest of the day. And you don’t even have to leave the house – you can easily work out at home.
4. Have a daily exercise goal. For example, make a pact with yourself that you’ll exercise for at least 30 minutes, or you’ll swim 20 laps, or you’ll burn 300 calories.
5. Mix up your exercise routine. If you only ever go swimming, try learning to run. If you hate the idea of exercising in public, try working out at home. It’s all about discovering things you might never have known you liked, moving as much as you can and keeping your mind and body stimulated.
6. For the best results, combine aerobic exercise with resistance training (otherwise known as weight training). That way you’ll get super-fit at the same time as building more lean muscle, which will really ramp up your metabolism and keep you burning fat for longer.
7. Find a training buddy to exercise with – they’ll keep you accountable and you’ll help each other stay focused on reaching your goals. If you can’t find someone who lives nearby, get online to find people you can share your journey with in the virtual world.
8. Join a group fitness class – all you have to do is show up at the right time and let your instructor do all the planning for you.
9. Add in as much incidental exercise as you can. Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to work (or part of the way) and do anything that gets you moving more in your daily life. It all adds up, and every little helps.
10. No matter what you do, give each workout your best effort. The more exercise you do – even if you hate it at first and it all seems too hard – the easier and more enjoyable it will become.