Fitness / Beginner Fitness

4 Ways to Learn How to Love Exercise (As a Beginner)

With a few easy steps, it is possible to reprogram your relationship with exercise over time

For some people cardio exercise sucks. While for others it’s a joy. Why do we have such a wide disagreement on exercise? It comes down to how we FEEL about it. If we want to, with a few easy steps, it is possible to reprogram this relationship with exercise over time.

1. Start Small

A good rule of thumb is to do a third to half of what you think you can do when starting. You want to always walk away feeling like you could have done more. Exercise is not about completely emptying the tank. Then you can let the ‘Law of Progression’ take care of the rest. This exercise science law means increasing the duration (not the intensity) in very small steps (each time you feel ready).

2. Do Something that Engages You

Exercise doesn’t have to be formal, you have many options! Gardening, vacuuming, and walking with friends are all forms of exercise. There are a few caveats around this, but you get the idea; it is just movement.

And don’t forget incidental exercise. This is movement that happens while you are trying to do something else. Walking to work. Climbing the stairs rather than using the lift or escalator. The CDC recommends a healthy level of exercise as being 150 minutes per week**. And  it is possible to get ALL that done as incidental exercise and NEVER do anything formal. After all, 150 mins is only 2% of your total week!

COACHES TIP: Think about what you like doing and try to add movement to it. Doing something you love, energizes you!

3. Get Your Environment Right

It’s also important to be comfortable in the environment you are exercising in. Some people prefer more privacy. Some want to be around people they feel comfortable with. The location is important, the music, the view – it all helps.

As you go through this, don’t think of each workout as a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. Think of each as an experiment where you continue to refine the environment to make it more enjoyable and comfortable. In fact, this should be your prime focus initially.

The psychological trick is to attach fun to movement you enjoy. When you think about it like that, it sounds easy.

4. Reframe Your Focus

You can magnify or minimize discomfort depending on where you place your attention. If you exercise in a boring, grinding, uninspiring place with no music, friends to talk to, and in a bland environment, your attention is not grabbed by anything. So it goes with your type of exercise – you will feel the boredom of the repetition and the mild discomfort…You feel ALL of it!

On the other hand, if you are in a great environment, with great people, doing great things, how you feel about the exercise will be different. If you have everything else set up, you will probably not even notice the exercise as much. You are so engaged in the conversation, the music, the wonder of where you are, that this is what fills your soul. AND the exercise just kinda takes care of itself.

Ready to get started with some effective beginner workouts? We have lots of classes available on AaptivSign up here for a free 7-day trial to try one of these popular workouts:

**CDC Guidelines Moderate-intensity aerobic activity: (such as brisk walking) for 150 minutes every week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity: (such as jogging or running) for 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) every week
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