slim woman doing exercise or dance class


Sometimes the biggest hurdle in committing to a regular workout routine is getting started. We may tell ourselves we can’t get started until we have special clothing or equipment, money for a gym membership or a personal trainer; or even until we reach a certain body weight or have a big goal. None of that is true. You don’t have to complicate your workouts with worries, goals or equipment; you just have to workout. Start exactly where you are with whatever you have. Fitness can be really simple when you just make up your mind to get started.


Start where you are

Maybe your big fitness goal is to qualify for the Boston or New York marathon. While challenging dreams are important they can complicate your workout because of their overwhelming nature. You may become so consumed by training schedules and regimens or finishing times and travel plans that you never even get started. Instead, start with a simple plan to walk at least 4 or 5 times each week for 30 minutes if you are a beginner. After you have become accustomed to the routine add in seconds and eventually minutes of running to your workout. When you have been running for some time, just kick up your distance by 10 percent each week. There is no need to wait until you can buy a GPS watch, training manual or heart monitor to track your progress. Just start moving and let your own breath be your guide. In a few months you can try a 5k. If it goes well you may start thinking about a 10k or half-marathon. Still, there is no need to complicate your workout. Consider joining a training group your first time out. Training plans, training seminars and group runs are planned for you. Commitment is required, complications are not. As Nike popularized, Just Do It!


Likewise, if you want to try Zumba but you are worried about your two left feet, start where you are. Keep moving even if you don’t know the steps. Your body will still get a great workout and your feet will get better with practice.


Let your body be your guide

You can workout even if you don’t have the latest and greatest gadget. In fact, the body is an excellent tool that can give you all the information and feedback you need. If you are in pain, rest, ice and elevate your injury. If you are tired or out of breath you can adjust your workout pace or level of intensity. When your body speaks, listen to what it tells you and you will do fine even without tech tools.


Just move

Ultimately, your body wants and needs to move. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. That could be as simple as salsa dancing, treadmill running, dog walking or rope jumping. Anything that gets your heart rate up counts; no special equipment or dreams of Olympic gold required.