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How to Get Fit for Beginners

You don’t need fancy equipment to get active and you certainly don’t need a gym membership. All you really need is a positive mindset, a clear space and some comfy clothes to workout in.

Whether you’re new to exercising or you’re looking for some easy ways to improve your fitness from the comfort of your own home, this article will introduce you to some simple workouts which can help you to form a fitness routine.

What you’ll need

  • Comfortable clothing - if you already have some workout clothes at home then that’s great, but you only really need shorts and a comfy T-shirt to get started! Just make sure that your clothing will allow you to move freely and won’t be restrictive.
  • Trainers - depending on which exercises you want to have a go at, you may need trainers to prevent you from slipping and protect you from any injuries.
  • A clear space - decide where the best spot will be for you to workout and clear the area so that it’s free from any clutter and trip hazards. 

Note: please take care when performing any exercises at home and don’t push yourself too hard. If you find any of the workouts uncomfortable or you feel faint, make sure you stop and take some time to rest and drink plenty of water.

Start with some stretches

Before you start exercising, it’s a good idea to do some light stretches first as this will help your muscles to loosen up and prepare them for the impact of working out. Not stretching can increase your chances of sustaining an injury.

Some simple stretches you could try are:

Overhead arm reach 

  • Stand up and ensure that your feet are flat on the floor
  • Interlock your fingers and stretch your arms above your head
  • Lean your body to the left, keeping both arms stretched upwards
  • Return to your starting position
  • Lean your body to the right, keeping both arms stretched upwards
  • Repeat this process a few more times on both sides

Shoulder stretches

  • Reach your right arm out across your body and use your left arm to deepen this stretch (try to hold this position for 20 seconds)
  • Repeat on the other arm

Quad stretch

You may need a chair or a wall to support you for this stretch

  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart
  • Reach back and hold your right foot with your right hand, pulling it towards your bum
  • Try and hold this position for 20 seconds (you should be able to feel a stretch in your hips and right thigh)
  • Switch legs and repeat 

Hamstring stretch

  • Standing upright, bend your left knee
  • Place your right leg outright and point your toes up towards the ceiling
  • Gently bend forward (you should be able to feel a stretch in the back of your right leg)
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds
  • Repeat this process with your right knee bent and left leg placed outright

Easy cardio workouts

Cardio exercises have many cardiovascular benefits as they can get your heart rate up and increase the blood circulation to the body. Cardio exercises are also particularly useful if you are trying to lose weight as they help to burn calories. 

Jumping jacks

  • Stand with your legs straight and place your arms to your sides
  • Jump up and spread your feet out (more than hip-width apart)
  • Bring your arms up and above your head
  • Try and do 10 jumping jacks (if you feel you can push to 15 then go for it! But you don’t want to overwhelm yourself). Jumping jacks are a great cardio workout to do between other exercises as they help to burn calories and can be done quickly.

 

Squat jumps

  • Standing, keep your chest up and with your feet just over shoulder-width apart (pointing your toes out slightly)
  • Squat down (as if you are trying to sit) just above the knee line with your weight in your heels
  • Put your hands together
  • When you’re ready, slowly push your arms behind you and bring them forward and up as you jump to help drive you
  • Try and complete 10 of these for each set, aiming to perform a total of 3 sets during your workout. Make sure that you take a short break between each set and drink plenty of water as you go.

Jogging on the spot

Jogging is a great way to get your heart rate up. As you jog, make sure that you are also moving your arms to the rhythm of your jogging to get the most out of this workout. 

The more that you practice jogging, the longer you’ll be able to jog for before feeling tired. Try jogging for just five minutes to start with and see if you can build up to longer jogs. It’s worth noting that jogging inside can become boring if you are staring at a wall but here are a couple of ways in which you can make your home jogs more interesting:

  • There are lots of virtual running videos on YouTube where you can jog along to beautiful scenery...as if you are the person jogging in the video - all you need to do is jog in front of the TV or screen and you feel like you’ve been transported to another location in the world! Check out this virtual run on a trail in Norway.
  • You can try alternating between jogging and other workouts - for example, jog for one minute and then complete a set of 10 squats. 

Easy strength training 

Lunges

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Take a step forwards with your right leg into a long stride and lower your body (make sure that you’re bending both knees and keep your body upright)
  • Push through your right heel and return to your standing position
  • Repeat this process with your left leg forward and aim to do 5 lunges on each leg 

Air swimming

  • Lie on your front with your arms extended in front of you
  • Lift your legs, arms and chest off of the ground and squeeze your glutes (a.k.a your bum)
  • Gently move your arms and legs up and down, making sure that you keep them off of the ground
  • Try and do this for 15 seconds (repeating two more times after taking short breaks between each set if you can)

Hip bridges

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent 
  • Your arms should be by your sides and your palms flat facing the floor
  • Push through your heels and squeeze your bum as you push your hips up 
  • Lower your body back to the ground 
  • Repeat this process 10 times 
  • After taking a minute or two for a break, try to complete 10 more hip bridges

Forearm plank

The forearm plank looks similar to a push-up position.

  • Place your forearms on the floor beneath your shoulders (they should be slightly further than shoulder width apart)
  • Plant your toes into the floor, tighten your abs and squeeze your bum for extra stability
  • Your body needs to be raised off of the ground and straight from head to heel
  • Try and hold this position for 15-20 seconds

If you’d like to follow an easy workout video, why not try our low impact cardio workout or other at home exercises for beginners. This will allow you to see how exercises are correctly performed by a personal trainer and may help to keep you motivated!

You can also have a go at pilates which is another low-impact exercise. Take a look at NHS introduction pilates for more information.

Looking to get active?

Whether you need some motivation to get active or you’re a beginner, if you live in Dorset and would like some support, we’re here to guide you! 

With our professional advisors and coaches on hand, we can offer advice and help you to reach your fitness goals. 

You can register with us today or get in touch with our friendly team to find out more about how we can help.

Georgina

"In January 2019, I was five stone heavier. Now, with the weight loss, parkrun and netball, my anxiety has improved tenfold."

View full story

How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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