I want to start exercising but not sure the right approach. I don't want to over do it by doing too much at first since I don't already have a routine.

Would it be better to start off with a dvd program or would it be better to do short walks/runs and increase? Any techniques that others have tried and worked to help them start and keep a routine?

Any help would be appreciated! I hope this is the right place to ask this question!


3 Answers 3


First, write down the goals you're trying to achieve: overall health, reduce weight, 5k run, etc. Then based on your goal, your ability to join a gym or get a personal trainer, the amount of time you have and your current health - you can ask again and the people here can give specific advice.

  • +1 describing your goals is an (often overlooked) important step in attaining them. Commented Apr 18, 2011 at 13:37
  • I would have never thought about making a goal list. Thanks for the advice!
    – smnelson
    Commented Apr 18, 2011 at 22:06

Start off with a full body free weight training program. Stronglifts 5x5 works great for anyone in normal health. The program is simple, balanced and offers great progress, while only taking about an hour three times a week.

Weight lifting will improve your posture, strength, balance and endurance. IMO it's a significantly better way to work out than just doing cardio.

Do note that a proper diet is just as important to reach your goals as spending time in the gym. As a beginner, I think you should aim to increase your weight by about 0.25-0.5kg/week for at least 6 months. The muscle mass you'll gain makes it easier to lose excess fat when you feel like slimming down again.


I would say that you start doing some reading. Either browse the magazine rack to see what's there and pick a few and read them. Or read what's on the internet. See what other people do to exercise. Could be all you're interested in is cycling. Or maybe you want to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger.

If weight training is what you are implying, then maybe join a gym and hire a personal trainer for a couple of hours to show you the ropes. They're a tad expensive, but may be a good start.

  • Thanks for the recommendations. I'll have to look into reading (yet another thing I didn't think of before).
    – smnelson
    Commented Apr 18, 2011 at 22:08
  • I consider myself self-taught and self-informed. Enough anyway to know what tickles my fancy. And honestly never even thought of doing dance lessons until a girl suggested it.
    – Salsero69
    Commented Apr 18, 2011 at 22:41

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