How to Move From Very Out of Shape to in Shape

For the best results, don’t try to get in shape all at once.
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If you need to get in shape after not exercising for a long time, you won’t have to put yourself through grueling workouts to do it. In fact, it’s better to start slow than try to beginning running, lifting heavy weights or hitting the gym every day for hours. Starting at a moderate intensity, you can raise your workout pace and duration each week to build your physical fitness.

    Schedule time for five, 30-minute workouts each week, or two, 15-minute daily workouts, five times a week to begin your fitness program. Schedule backup days or times in the event you have to miss one or two of your workouts. Have several pairs of exercise shorts and shirts, since you probably won’t want to do laundry each day after your workouts. Wear a pair of comfortable athletic shoes.

    Do several low-impact exercises for your workouts to prevent stressing your joints and muscles with the same exercises each day. Low-impact exercise keeps one foot on the ground, a pedal or platform at a time – power walking is low impact, while jogging is high impact. Choose power walking, cycling, swimming, calisthenics, walking stairs, step aerobics, hula hooping, or using light dumbbells and resistance bands.

    Create a workout schedule that starts each week with a low-impact, low-resistance cardio workout. Schedule the second workout of the week to start with 15 minutes of resistance training, such as dumbbell or resistance band exercises or increased resistance on a cardio machine or bike, or include moderate resistance throughout the workout. Alternate workouts to focus on low-resistance cardio one day, then a cardio workout with more resistance the next. Change your exercises every workout, or every week, to give your joints and muscles a rest and to avoid repetitive stress injuries.

    Begin each workout at a moderate speed to warm up your muscles, heart and lungs. Jog in place, do jumping jacks, perform arm circles or use a cardio machine at a moderate speed with little or no resistance. Raise your heart rate until you are breathing harder than normal, but not out of breath. Exercise at this intensity level for 15 minutes, adding 5 minutes to your workout each week, or sooner, as you get in better shape. Raise your intensity level or heart rate during your workouts once you can exercise for 30 minutes without stopping.


    • Cool down after each workout by walking slowly until your heart rate and breathing get back to normal. Stretch you muscles before as the final part of each workout.

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