Active Seniors

12-week challenge: Week 2 – getting started with exercise

For most of 2020, the pandemic has disrupted our routine. In many countries around the world, this is still the case; we are so lucky in Australia to be able to go about our routine as normally as we could hope! 

As soon as you are able, it is important to get back to doing some daily activity. The cost of inactivity is too high, both on public health infrastructure as well as on your own mental and physiological health! 

It is all too common that we see people throw themselves into an exercise routine with little structure, resulting in not sticking to the goal! 

Strategies to get back to structured exercise: 

Start with easy and doable

It is very important to adjust your exercise program to where you left off. A lot of physical change can happen if you have not exercised for some time! If you have not exercised for 2-3 weeks, this change may not seem so drastic, but it will be much more noticeable if it has been 2+ months. 

This may sound silly, but you might like to try picking an exercise you enjoy. For some, this could even be a stretching exercise or walking for 10 minutes. 

Start small and build 

Trying to do an hour of exercise every day after not doing much activity for a few months generally won’t result in long-term commitment! It is better to start with a small amount of activity and build, daily or every second day. 

For example, you could try 10 minutes of exercise every second day. This is a very small commitment and also allows for recovery days for your muscles in-between. Over time, you can increase this to 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, and so on. 

Find an exercise buddy!

Many people find it motivating to exercise with someone else – a friend, spouse, sibling or even a group! More often than not, they will act as a cheerleader, which is always a huge help. 

Psychology is an interesting thing – research shows that while we may be more likely to disrupt our own routine (often with excuses), we are less likely to want to let other people down, therefore keep our exercise commitment!  

Schedule and make the time 

Writing in a date and time for an exercise session often drives us to do the activity – or at least get prepared to do it! Even just getting dressed in your gym gear can be all you need in terms of motivation. 

It is very easy to say we don’t have time for exercise. However, if you sit and write down what you do during the day, more often than not you will find that you do have the time! 

Where to start?

The world of physical activity can be daunting, especially if you may not have a history of exercise to your name. We suggest starting with our 30-minute class as part of the 12-week challenge, every Monday 10am AEST! 

There are also many exercise tips you can find HERE to help you with daily activities that you may not have been able to do before. 

So, the goal for week 2: set up a schedule for your physical activity! Start with small segments of activity and aim to increase by a few minutes per session, per week. Pick one of your favourite exercises and include that one throughout your routine to help your motivation! 

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