Since I started working out again and watching what I eat, posting here, and writing my own weight loss journal, people have been asking me questions. A question that is most frequently asked is how to get started when you are coming back to exercise or just beginning to workout.

My response is; just do it. Pick an activity you think you can do for twenty minutes or so, and start. Walking is the easiest activity to start with. It’s cheap, easy to do, and you already know how to do it. You can walk outside if the weather is nice, or you can walk on a treadmill inside if you prefer or the weather is imclement.

Starting out is definitely the hardest part. You may feel that you can’t do it, or that twenty minutes isn’t enough to get any results. You may feel silly, or that everyone is looking at you. You can do it, and when you are starting out, twenty minutes may be all you can do. But you can make goals, and as you get more comfortable walking (or whatever exercise you choose) you can add on five minutes each week as you build up strength and endurance. And chances are, no one is looking at you, so there is no reason to feel silly. Everyone had to start out somewhere, even marathon runners and triathletes.

When I first started working out about ten years ago, I had all of those same fears, worries, and concerns. I was 225 pounds, out of shape, and miserable. I made the choice to start. It wasn’t easy, and there were times I wanted to give up, go home and watch television. I made the choice to stick with it and keep at it. I added time each week to my cardio workouts and I added in weight training and kickboxing classes. I made goals for myself and within a year I had lost 80 pounds.

Now ten years later, I have gained some of the weight back, but I have continued to exercise sporadically for the past five years or so. It was a little easier to start out this time, since I had been doing some exercising, but I was still worried about failure and getting through my workouts. I’m also facing different challenges now. I’m older, I have a chronic pain condition, and I don’t have a full time job. But I made the choice to start, to take that first step on the treadmill, the first spin in Spin class, the first set of reps in BodyPump.

If you want to start a workout regimen, know you can do it. Believe in yourself. Check with your doctor to make sure you are able, don your sneakers, and take that first step.