Becoming More Active: Where to Start

Making your plan

Like any lifestyle change, adding activity to your daily routine is easier if you have a plan. Experts recommend doing moderate to vigorous activity to get and stay healthy. Work with your doctor to create a plan that is right for you. Start slowly. And set small goals.

  • Start with walking.
    • For most people, walking is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get moving.
    • Keep track of the number of steps you take each day. You can use a phone app, a fitness tracker, or a pedometer. Tracking can help you see the progress you're making toward your goals. That progress might inspire you to move more.
  • Work up to a comfortable level.

    Even small amounts of activity add up.

    • It's fine to be active several times for 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.
    • If you're not active at all, work up to it. You may want to start by walking around the block every morning, or walking for just 10 minutes. Over time, you can make your walks longer or walk more often throughout your day and week.
  • Do activities you like.

    Find activities that fit your lifestyle and your personality. For example:

    Do you like to be active on your own or with others?
    Joining a group or a class helps some people stay motivated.
    Do you like structured activities like classes, or everyday activities like gardening?
    Many people find that everyday activities are easier to fit into their life. Others are more likely to stay with an activity if it requires them to show up for a class or for a game.
    How much money, if any, do you want to spend on gear or other expenses?
    There are activities to match every budget. You can walk around your neighborhood without spending any money. You may be able to join a community swimming, dancing, or tai chi class for a small fee.

Credits

Current as of: March 3, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine