Are you a coach potato? If so, you aren’t alone. However, a sedentary lifestyle can have serious health repercussions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or other health problems. There is good news if you have been sedentary, you too can get back into shape. However, you should do it slowly so that you don’t hurt yourself or cause injury. Not only will becoming more active make you feel better but you will improve your overall health.

Learn how to go from being sedentary to exercising in 9 easy steps. Use these 9 steps to transform your lifestyle and improve your overall health.

Have a Health Evaluation First

Before you start an exercise routine, you should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first. They can help you determine what type of activities that you can do safely. Plus, they can help support you and your goals to improve your overall health.

Start Slowly

If you have been inactive for several months or years, it is important that you start off slowly so that you don’t hurt yourself. You can start by walking at a slow pace for 10 minutes every other day and work your way to up to where you want to be. Health experts recommend exercising 3 to 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes a day.

Instead of starting off at the gym, I suggest that you start off by walking either outside or on a treadmill. Walking is low impact and will help keep you from injuring yourself. If you hit the gym until you are in shape, you increase your odds of injuring yourself. Many people often overdo it when they first start exercising.

Create workout plans that work for you. If you are going to a gym, it might be wise to invest in a personal trainer. They can help create the right workout plans for you and help increase your success rate.

Take at Least One Day Off to Rest per Week

Once you get an exercise routine started, make sure that you take at least one day off from exercising. This gives your body and mind time a chance to recover. Do something that takes your mind off reaching your goal.

Make Sure You Have Proper Footwear

Don’t start exercising until you have the proper footwear. You want to make sure that your shoes are made for exercising and provide your feet with proper support depending on your activity. Don’t just grab a pair of shoes because they are handy; instead, grab a shoe that is made for the activity that you plan on doing the most. If you plan on walking, you can grab a cross training shoe. However, if you are planning on running it is best to buy a running shoe.

Vary Your Intensity

If you have been walking or exercising for a few weeks and have established your routine, you should work towards varying the intensity of your workout. For example, instead of walking for 20 to 30 minutes try 1 minute of fast walking or light jogging and 4 minutes of walking. If you can’t jog, then try adding an incline. Settling into a set workout routine can cause you to stall on your weight loss efforts.

Add Strength Training to Your Workout Routine

Most people think of body builders when they hear the word strength training and think of huge bulk muscles. However, strength training has several benefits including:


  • protects bone health
  • makes you stronger
  • improves your body mechanics
  • helps prevent certain diseases
  • boosts energy
  • improves your mood
  • increases the number of calories burned
  • tones muscles
  • improve posture

Limit Watching Television

Do you enjoy watching television or sitting down at the computer after you get home from work? Don’t worry you aren’t alone but it is something that you can easily change. Instead, sitting down to engage in either of these activities you should replace it with physical activity, even if you worked out that evening. Here are a few examples to try: plant a garden, wash the car, do a few household chores, or try organized fitness class or sports.

I have another alternative for those individuals who are addicted to watching television. You can purchase a stationary bike, elliptical, or treadmill for your home so that you can work out while you watch your favorite show.

Opt for a Stand-Up or Treadmill Desk

If you have to be on the computer, you can opt for a stand-up or use a treadmill desk (if you have a desk job you can even ask your company for workplace alternatives). Can’t get a stand-up or treadmill desk, there are a few things that you can do to curb the effects of sitting. You can try a few chair exercises and other exercises that you can do at the office.

Adopt Healthy Eating Habits

Eating healthy meals is just as important as exercising. As you are slowly making changes to your activity level, make sure that you are also working on your eating habits. Adapting healthy eat habits doesn’t have to be hard. Once you start eating healthy, you should start to notice the difference in your overall health. Don’t be overly concerned about your weight but you should focus on how your feeling in the very beginning.

A sedentary lifestyle can have serious health repercussions but it isn’t too late to make changes to your overall health and well-being. Remember to take it slow and easy when you first starting an exercise routine to avoid injury. Don’t forget to use these tips on how to go from being sedentary to exercising in 9 easy steps.

Image Credit: Flickr via Creative Commons

Did you know that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy? What are you doing to overcome it?