The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Exercise – What you really need to know to start your exercise journey

Beginners Guide to Exercise Leiden


Do you know that almost 2 in 3 Australian adults are overweight or obese?  That equals 63% of the Australian population.  And what’s even more terrifying is 1 in 4 Australian children are overweight or obese.  That’s 25% of our population.  Click for more info.

Our excess weight is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, some musculoskeletal conditions, some cancers, and for pregnant women it can lead to short and long term health problems for you and your child.  As the amount of weight we gain increases so does our risk of developing one or more of these conditions. These conditions impact our ability to engage with our lives on a daily basis.  Click for more info.

So, why are Australians so obese? Why are so many of us not making changes to our health that we so desperately need to make?

Starting an exercise journey is hard, it’s challenging and it requires change. It requires us to address parts of ourselves that have been ignored for so long. If you want to achieve your fitness goals it means reaching beyond your comfort zone.  A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.

Ask yourself this: Why haven’t I started an exercise regime? What’s stopping me? What’s holding me back from succeeding?

No doubt some of these come to mind: “I don’t know what I am doing. I am too busy. Work takes up most of my time. I am afraid to start. I have kids. I am not worthy of looking good. I am not enough.You have to be fit to exercise. I hate the way I look and I am afraid to admit that. I am intimidated walking into a gym…”

So how can we tackle it?



If something is familiar to you, it’s easy, it’s comfortable, and you feel confident.  If something is unfamiliar to you, it can be daunting, feel uncomfortable and make you feel a little insecure or worried.

These tips will help you begin to make exercise familiar to you.


The mind is a powerful tool

Visualisation is a great tool for bringing what you want into your life.  The next time you think about starting your exercise program take it one step further.  Visualise yourself exercising.  You might like to do this in a quiet place with your eyes closed or give it a go throughout your day.

Visualise yourself in your exercise gear, walking out the front door of your house and heading to your destination.  Visualise yourself during your workout, working toward your fitness goals, and visualise yourself once you have achieved your fitness goals.

What does that look like?  How does it make you feel? Grab a journal and jot down what came up for you.

Repeat as often as you like.


Check in with your health

The best way to do this is to consult your GP.  Let them know you are keen to start exercising.  Anyone with major health risks especially males aged 45 and older and women aged 55 and older should seek a medical clearance before beginning a new exercise program.

Your exercise program will be tailored to your personal needs. Some health conditions will have certain requirements. So it’s important to know what they are and inform any fitness facility or trainer you want to work with.


Indulge in a new learning experience

Maybe you don’t know how to structure a workout or why exercise is important for your health. Make exercise familiar to you by learning as much as you possibly can.  Deepen your understanding of the benefits of exercise by indulging in a new learning experience:

  • Reading: pick up an inspiring book about how others have transformed their lives. Be inspired, feel motivated and get excited to transform your life.
  • Facebook: Facebook is a great tool for filling your news feed with knowledge and inspiration.  Follow the experts in the field.
  • Find an expert: Hire a personal trainer and a dietician. They can tailor an exercise program and a meal plan to your needs.


Set an intention

It’s time to set some crystal clear intentions.  Intentions help you to become clear on what you want to bring into your life.  Intentions are different from goals; intentions create a picture for your future, goals help you get there.

When writing your intentions write them in present tense.  Be positive and dream big.An intention my look something like:

I am sitting on my balcony watching the sunset and I am happier than I’ve ever been.  

I have transformed my life.  I am now exercising consistently 4 times a week. I have learnt so much about exercise since I started this journey.  I feel inspired, I feel motivated, and I have more vitality than ever before.  I am now 12kg lighter. I even bought a dog so I could take him for runs with me.


Here are some questions to prompt you:

  • What will you feel like when you have achieved your fitness goals?
  • How do you see yourself looking?
  • What have you achieved?


It’s your turn! We suggest you read our simple guide Ready Set Exercise. Give these tips a try and let us know how you go by sending us an email or sharing on our social media.

Liz Wensing

Liz Wensing

Liz is a lover of all things health and fitness. Her passion is to educate and empower everyone to live healthy and abundant lives. Liz has spent many years learning everything there is to know about health through formal and informal study. Her favourite drink is chai and yoga pants dominate her wardrobe. While Liz completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences majoring in Health Promotion and Exercise Science and holds a Diploma of Fitness, she is not a doctor. Please consult medical advice if you are unsure of anything in regards to your personal health and fitness.

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