7 Tips When Starting an Exercise Routine

1)      Take Some Credit – Pat Yourself on the Back! Simply because you are reading this means that your current activity level (or lack thereof) has bothered you for long enough and now you’re hoping that somewhere within this text lies the magic formula that will help you take the next natural step – ACTION!  Believe it or not, it’s actually a good thing that this has bothered you for as long as it has – because, had it not been on your mind for this long… it wouldn’t be bound to change.  The truth is that because you’re reading this…  you are ready.  Believe that.  Read on.  Prepare yourself for wonderful things!

2)      Be a Tortoise – Slow and SteadY Wins the Race.  Consider what you’re doing now then commit to reasonably improve upon it.  Sure… there are a number guidelines and AHA (American Heart Association) recommendations, but if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with all those rules, recommendations and restrictions, there is a better way – a more reasonable way. For example: If you’re already exercising once each week, commit to twice.  Is there significant room in your diet for some improvement?  Little things like replacing one or two sodas a day with water with a Lemon water, or eating your salad before your dinner may make an enormous difference.  The bull-in-a-china-shop method can burn your out sooner than you think…make small, reasonable, and sustainable changes… and stay the course!

3)       Focus on the Forest – Macro-Manage Your Movement.  As long as there’s not a prevailing health or orthopedic issue, think big motions – squats, lunges, presses, and pulls.  These are compound motions (two or more joints moving at once) and cover the major muscle groups.  These motions will (among numerous other things): boost your metabolism, lubricate the joints of the body, increase body temperature, elevate heart rate, increase functional strength, and improve functional body awareness.  Single-joint motions (such as bicep curls, calf raises and shoulder raises) are all good exercises, but at the beginning stages of a fitness program you'll want to include as many compound motions as reasonably possible.  These motions can - and should -  become the staple exercises of the most reasonably designed fitness programs for almost everyone.

4)      Gather No Moss – A Healthy Body is a Body in Motion.  The bottom line is MOVE!  Variety is the spice of fitness… if you don’t have time to go to the gym, get up from your desk and walk for 20 minutes… while you’re at it, do 15 squats every five minutes – mix it up, do some pushups today, squats tomorrow, jumping jacks the next… you get the point.  Fitness momentum is easy to gain and easy to lose.  Frequency is linchpin that holds it all together and it must been maintained at all costs.

5)      Get to Sweatin' - Cardio... What should you do, how should you do it, how long should you do it for...?  Pick an activity, work up a sweat, start the clock.  I tell my clients "20 minutes or more of cardio for it to count".  Start slow, your body will pick up the pace when it's appropriate.  You'll feel your heart rate increase, your pores begin to open, your breathing get heavier... you're doing it right.  This can be walking, jogging, on biking (stationary or otherwise), walking up and down a flight of stairs at the office... anything...get to sweatin'!

6)      Mind Your Own Business - Focus Only on Yourself.  you will inevitably see people watching you as you incorporate fitness into your daily routine...face it, you'd also STARE curiously AT A COWORKER IF YOU SAW THEM WALKING UP AND DOWN THE SAME FLIGHT OF STAIRS FOR 20 MINUTES.  It's a given that You will feel like people are watching you, maybe they are... it will make you feel self-conscious, and perhaps even silly... I promise you that those eyes are quietly cheering you on, admiring your decision to create a better you. WHen I see a new exerciser running/walking/running/walking - I see a motivated and hungry soul with their nose to the grindstone... I see inspiration - I see courage - I see change.  You will inspire others, novice and veteran, alike.  Your inspiration will start a fire in someone who was just like you, and this fire will spread.  

Remember... Everyone is rooting for you... everyone.

 Keep your eyes on the horizon, and your soul on fire, and great things will be bound to happen.  Stay focused and stay the course, you never know who needed just a little spark, and that spark will likely be you.

7)      Seek Out Your Oracle – Find a FitPro.  Health & fitness can seem overly complicated… there are tens of thousands of Facebook Pages, YouTube channels, blogs and articles that are devoted to health and exercise… so many, in fact, that without the guidance from a qualified FitPro, it’s way too easy to become overwhelmed, and over-informed.  Many of these sources are reputable (many are not), and much of the information is accurate (and far too much is not).  Making the decision to work with a FitPro can make navigating this abundance of information both easy and understandable.  It’s important to have a professional to filter the unnecessary information while translating some of the lingo into a language that you can understand.  Though, CLIENT BEWARE!  Personal trainers are a dime a dozen.  You will get exactly what you pay for in this business… a discountED trainer will yield discounted results.  Do your research… a simple Google search will provide customer/client reviews… start there, and seek out your Oracle!


 It’s never too late to start on your journey… there is no time like the present!  Get up and get moving… it can start this very moment (that’s right, this very moment).  We both know that you’ve got it in you. 

If you still aren’t sure where to start, give us a call.  We make this whole “fitness” thing easy, and understandable.   The hardest part is walking through the door… if you can do that, we’ll take it from there.

Good luck to you, and we hope to meet you soon!

Blessings & Be Well,

Matt Scarfo
Master Trainer
NASM CPT-OPT, CES, FNS