Skip to content Skip to footer

Guide On How to Start Exercising When You’re Out of Shape

Starting an exercise routine when you’re not in shape can be intimidating. But it’s important to remember that many people face similar challenges. In this guide we will explore how to start exercising when you’re out of shape & importance of exercise address the specific obstacles you may encounter when starting a workout routine while out of shape and help you set achievable goals for your fitness journey.

Regular exercise is a component of a lifestyle and has numerous benefits for both your physical and mental well-being. 

It’s crucial to understand that everyone starts somewhere and simply taking that step is an accomplishment in itself. By acknowledging these challenges and approaching your fitness journey with kindness and perseverance you can make progress over time.

Let’s embark, on a motivating adventure of self-discovery, personal growth, and transformation together.

How to Start Exercising When You’re Out of Shape

Assess Your Current Fitness Level

Before diving into any exercise program, it’s essential to assess your current fitness level thoroughly. Taking the time to understand your body’s capabilities and potential limitations will help you tailor a workout routine that is both safe and effective for you.

  • Consult a Healthcare Professional Before Starting 

The first step for learning how to start exercising when you’re out of shape is analyzing your fitness assessment journey which involves consulting with a qualified healthcare professional. 

A visit to your primary care physician or a certified fitness expert will provide valuable insights into your health status and any specific medical concerns that should be taken into consideration.

Your healthcare provider can assess your medical history, current health conditions, and any medications you may be taking. 

They can also advise you on whether certain exercises should be modified or avoided based on your health status. This step is particularly crucial if you have any pre-existing health conditions or if you’ve been inactive for an extended period.

  • Perform Basic Fitness Assessments 

Performing basic fitness assessments can give you a clear picture of where you currently stand in terms of physical fitness. Here are a few simple assessments you can do to gauge your fitness level:

1. Cardiovascular Endurance: Measure how far you can walk briskly or jog without feeling too fatigued.


2. Muscular Strength: Evaluate your strength through exercises like push-ups, squats, or bicep curls using light weights.


3. Flexibility: Assess your flexibility by attempting simple stretches, like touching your toes or reaching overhead.


4. Body Composition: Consider measurements such as your weight, waist circumference, and body mass index (BMI) to understand your body composition.


By performing these assessments, you can establish a baseline for your fitness level. Remember not to compare yourself with others; your journey is unique, and progress will come with consistency and dedication.

Once you have a clear understanding of your current fitness level, you can proceed to the next steps, including choosing the right exercise plan and creating a workout schedule tailored to your needs. 

Embrace this self-awareness as a powerful tool to design a workout routine that aligns with your goals and capabilities.

Remember, assessing your fitness level is not a one-time activity. As you progress on your fitness journey, periodic reassessments will help you track your improvements and make necessary adjustments to keep moving forward toward your fitness aspirations. 

Overcoming Mental Barriers

As you progress on your fitness journey, you may encounter mental barriers that can hinder your motivation and commitment to exercise. 

By addressing these challenges head-on, employing positive techniques, and seeking support when needed, you can overcome mental obstacles and stay focused on your path to wellness.

  • Address Common Mental Obstacles

Starting and continuing an exercise routine can be challenging due to common mental barriers. Some of these obstacles may include:


Self-Doubt: Feeling unsure about your abilities or fearing failure can deter you from taking the first step.


Lack of Motivation: Struggling to find the drive to exercise regularly may arise from boredom or feeling disconnected from your fitness goals.


Time Constraints: Balancing exercise with work, family, and other responsibilities can make it challenging to prioritize physical activity.


Fear of Judgment: Concerns about how others perceive you during exercise can lead to self-consciousness and reluctance to participate.


It’s crucial to recognize that these mental barriers are normal when you understand how to start exercising when you’re out of shape and experienced by many individuals starting or resuming an exercise routine. Acknowledging these feelings and taking proactive steps to address them will empower you to move past these obstacles.

Use Positive Affirmations and Visualization Techniques

Positive affirmations and visualization can be powerful tools to cultivate a resilient and determined mindset. 

Affirmations are positive statements you repeat to yourself, reinforcing your belief in your capabilities and potential for success. For instance, “I am strong, and I can achieve my fitness goals” or “I am improving with every workout.”

Visualization involves mentally imagining yourself completing your exercise routines and reaching your fitness milestones. 

Picture yourself engaged in physical activities with confidence and joy, and visualize the sense of accomplishment you’ll experience when reaching your goals.

Consistently using positive affirmations and visualization can rewire your thinking, boost your self-confidence, and help you stay focused and motivated on your fitness journey.

By addressing mental barriers, employing positive techniques, and seeking support when needed, you can develop mental resilience and conquer any challenges that come your way. Cultivating a strong mind and body will empower you to lead a balanced and fulfilling life.

Choose the Right Exercise Plan

Now that you have assessed your current fitness level, it’s time to choose the right exercise plan that aligns with your goals and preferences. 

By exploring various types of exercises and considering your lifestyle, you can create a workout routine that is enjoyable, sustainable, and tailored to your individual needs.

  • Variate Your Exercise Routine

Exercise encompasses a wide range of activities, each offering unique benefits for your body and mind. It’s essential to incorporate a balanced mix of different exercise types into your routine. 

Here are some popular categories to consider:

Aerobic Exercises: These exercises elevate your heart rate and improve cardiovascular endurance. Examples include brisk walking, jogging, cycling, dancing, and swimming.


Strength Training: Strength training exercises target various muscle groups, promoting muscle strength and tone. You can use resistance bands, free weights, or bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges.


Flexibility and Stretching: Flexibility exercises enhance your range of motion and reduce the risk of injuries. Incorporate activities like yoga, Pilates, and basic stretching routines.


Balance and Stability: Exercises that enhance balance and stability are essential, especially if you have concerns about joint issues or falls. Consider tai chi or specific balance exercises.


By exploring these different types of exercises, you can find a combination that suits your interests and helps you achieve a well-rounded and effective workout routine.

  • Find Exercises That Fit Into Your Lifestyle

The key to maintaining a consistent exercise routine lies in finding activities that you genuinely enjoy. 

When you engage in exercises you like, you are more likely to stay motivated and committed to your fitness journey. Consider your hobbies and interests as you explore different exercise options.

If you prefer the outdoors, activities like hiking, running in the park, or playing a sport might be enjoyable. 

On the other hand, if you enjoy a group setting, consider joining fitness classes or group workouts. Remember that variety is essential, so don’t hesitate to mix up your exercises to keep things interesting.

Additionally, consider your daily schedule and commitments when selecting exercises. If time is limited, short and intense workouts or quick home exercises can be fitting. 

On the other hand, if you have more time to spare, longer sessions or activities that require additional preparation might be feasible.

  • Start with Low-Impact Exercises 

When starting your exercise journey, it’s essential to ease into physical activity, particularly if you’re out of shape or have concerns about joint health. 

Low-impact exercises are gentle on your body and help minimize the risk of injury while still providing significant benefits.

Low-impact exercises include activities like walking, swimming, cycling, and using an elliptical machine. These exercises are less jarring on your joints and are ideal for building your fitness foundation. 

As your fitness level improves and your body adapts to the routine, you can gradually introduce higher-impact exercises if desired.

Remember, the journey to better fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on consistency and gradual progress, and your efforts will yield positive results over time.

With a well-rounded exercise plan that suits your preferences and lifestyle, you are well on your way to building a strong and resilient body. 

How To Stay Motivated and Consistent?

Maintaining motivation and consistency is essential to sustain a successful fitness journey. By finding sources of support, introducing variety into your workouts, and tracking your progress, you can stay on track and remain enthusiastic about your fitness goals.

  • Find An Exercise Buddy or Support Group

Having an exercise buddy or joining a support group can significantly impact your motivation and commitment to your fitness routine. Working out with a friend or being part of a like-minded community provides accountability, encouragement, and a sense of camaraderie.

When you have a scheduled exercise session with a friend or group, you’re more likely to show up and give it your best effort. Furthermore, sharing your successes and challenges with others who share similar goals can be incredibly empowering.

Whether it’s a workout partner, a fitness class, or an online community, surround yourself with individuals who uplift and inspire you. Together, you can celebrate achievements, push through plateaus, and overcome obstacles as a team.

  • Try Different Workouts to Avoid Boredom

Variety is the spice of life, and it applies to your fitness routine as well. Engaging in the same exercises day after day can lead to boredom and decreased motivation. To combat monotony, introduce diversity into your workouts.

Try new activities, explore different exercise classes, or experiment with various fitness programs. 

For instance, alternate between aerobic exercises, strength training, yoga, or outdoor activities. You can also change the settings of your workouts, such as exercising outdoors one day and indoors the next.

By continually challenging your body with new movements and experiences, you’ll not only prevent boredom but also engage different muscle groups and improve overall fitness.

  • Track Your Progress Over Time

Keeping track of your progress is a powerful tool to maintain motivation and recognize how far you’ve come. Regularly assess your fitness achievements and celebrate the improvements you’ve made.


Use a fitness journal, a mobile app, or a fitness tracker to record your workouts, set goals, and monitor your performance. Track the number of repetitions, distances, or weights lifted in each exercise session. Additionally, note any changes in your body composition or how you feel during workouts.

Seeing tangible evidence of your progress, no matter how small reinforces your dedication and propels you forward. It provides a sense of accomplishment and inspires you to continue striving for even greater achievements.

  • Avoid Overexertion

As you continue on your fitness journey, it’s essential to prioritize gradual progression and avoid overexertion. Pushing yourself too hard too soon can lead to injuries and setbacks. 

When starting or resuming an exercise routine, it’s tempting to jump in at full speed to see quick results. However, this approach can be counterproductive and increase the risk of injury or burnout. Instead, embrace the concept of gradual progression.

Begin with exercises that are well within your current fitness level and comfort zone. As your body adapts and becomes more conditioned, you can gradually increase the intensity, duration, or complexity of your workouts.

For example, if you are walking for exercise, consider adding short bursts of jogging or increasing your walking pace over time. If you’re strength training, gradually increase the weight you lift or the number of repetitions.

Remember, sustainable progress takes time, and there’s no rush. Stay patient, and your efforts will pay off as you steadily build your strength and stamina.

Your body will provide valuable feedback, such as muscle fatigue, shortness of breath, or dizziness, during exercise. Paying attention to these signals can help you avoid overexertion and potential injuries.

If you experience significant discomfort, pain, or breathlessness during a workout, it’s essential to stop immediately. 

There’s no shame in taking a break or modifying your exercise routine as needed. Rest when necessary and come back stronger when you’re ready.

As you embrace support, variety, and progress tracking, you’ll find that motivation and consistency become second nature in your fitness routine. 

Remember that every day is an opportunity to grow and improve, and staying committed to your fitness goals will lead to a healthier, stronger, and more resilient version of yourself.


Learning how to start exercising when you’re out of shape requires patience and perseverance. Remember that progress takes time, and small steps can lead to significant changes over time. Be kind to yourself and celebrate every effort you make towards your fitness goals.

At times, challenges and setbacks may arise, but don’t be discouraged. Embrace the journey and view obstacles as opportunities for growth. Trust in your abilities and stay committed to your well-being. With dedication and resilience, you will create a lasting impact on your life.

Embrace each day with enthusiasm and gratitude, and let the journey of health and well-being unfold in all its beauty. 

If you like this article, kindly share it on different social media platforms. So that your friends and colleagues can also benefit from the same. Sharing is Caring.

Moreover, send us your queries or suggestions in the comment section below. We will be more than happy to assist you.