Posted on September 21, 2023 by Jenny Cromack

Wednesday 20th September was National Fitness Day, a day to celebrate the both the physical and mental benefits of being healthy and active. However, what if you’re currently not doing any exercise or physical activity? How do you get started with being more active? Getting started with exercise can seem daunting…..step inside a gym and everyone seems to know what they are doing, pass those runners in the street and they don’t seem out of breath or red faced and sweaty, join your local yoga class and everyone seems to be able to bend into a position which you can only dream of!

Here’s the secret….shhhhh…..everyone else you see probably felt like you do when they first started…..daunted, unsure where to start, unsure what clothes to wear, not sure if they were fit enough, etc, etc. Now, and here might be the hardest part, you need to put your doubts aside and take the plunge. We know….easier said than done! So here are some tips from the motive8 personal training team to help get you started on your fitness journey.

Start Steady and Build Up

Rome wasn’t build in a day and neither will your fitness levels (or anyone else’s for that matter!). If you’ve not exercised much in the past then jumping into 5 days per week might not be realistic in the long term and may lead to injury. Begin with 2-3 x 30 minute sessions per week for the first 4-8 weeks, if this is fitting in with your lifestyle and you want to do more then either increase the duration and/or number of times you work out per week.

Walk Before You Can Run

In a similar vein to the above, if you fancy putting your running shoes on and entering a local 10k or Park Run then build up your running gradually. If you’ve never run before, or haven’t run for a long time, start with some walk-run sessions, then over time gradually decrease the walking sections, and increase the running sections.

Be Realistic

Being unrealistic is unfair to yourself as you will likely only set yourself up to fail. Setting realistic expectations around your goals, how many times per week you can exercise, how long you can exercise for, etc will mean you stick to your new fitness regime for the long term.

Consistency Is Key

You will only achieve results if you are consistent. It’s better to do less but over a longer period. For example, someone who has set a realistic goal of exercising 3 times per week, for 30 minutes each time will more likely stick to their goals than someone who has a busy life but has set a goal of training every day for 60 minutes each day. Interestingly, when the personal training team are asked about their top tips many of them revolve around consistence. motive8 Personal Trainer Emily says ”Start now and keep it consistent. Changes don’t happen overnight, but they do build up over time”.


Choose an exercise or activity you enjoy, it sounds obvious to say, but you’re more likely to stick to what you are doing if you enjoy it. In the long term this will lead to achieving your goals and feeling amazing as your fitness levels and mental wellbeing soar.

If you’re reading this and based in Leeds, and still a little unsure where to start then do get in touch, we have lots of experience in helping beginners and those new to exercise get started on their fitness journeys.