Workouts for Beginners

Many people set goals to increase their physical activity in the new year. With so few Americans meeting the recommended amount of physical activity, this is a great lifestyle change to make. And it’s never too late to get more active to feel better, have more energy, and live healthier. However, you don’t want to make the mistake of jumping in too fast. You’ll likely feel sore and it increases the risk of injury. You’re more likely to stick with it by starting with shorter workouts and building up how long, how often, and how hard you exercise over time. Here are some workout plans for beginners to help you get started.


Walking is one of the best exercises for most people because you don’t have to invest in any equipment or memberships, you already know how to do it, and you can do it almost anywhere. Start with 10 minutes of walking a few days a week. As this becomes easier, add a walk on more days of the week, until you are walking most days of the week. Then try walking for longer, adding a few minutes each week until you are walking 30-45 minutes a day. You can get your minutes each all at once or by walking for at least 10 minutes a few times per day. As you get more fit, you can speed up your walks or mix in some jogging.

Move More, Virginia! Workout Videos

Have you tried the Move More, Virginia! workout videos yet? These workouts were developed by a certified personal trainer and offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced options for each exercise. The videos contain a variety of muscle-strengthening and aerobic (cardio) exercises for a complete workout. Start by exercising along with the beginner level moves in a few shorter videos each week. Move on to longer videos and/or working out more often during the week. As you get stronger and fitter, try the intermediate level options in the videos.

Your Favorite Way to Move More

This strategy can be used for whatever way you want to move more. Start slowly, with short sessions a few times per week. Gradually increase how long you are active and add another session or two during the week. As you get fitter and more dedicated, amp up the intensity of your workouts. For more workout inspiration, check out ACE Fitness’ exercise library, Kickstart Workout (phase 1 is bodyweight only, phase 2 and 3 require free weights), Beginner Core Exercises, 15 Minute Resistance Band Workout, Whole Body Exercise Band Workout, 4 Lower Body Movements for Beginners,  

sample workout progression for beginners

Eventually, you will reach the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week. But you don’t have to stop there. You’ll get additional health benefits with more minutes of activity per week above 150. If you’re trying to lose weight, then you should be aiming for 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week. You can also try adding in some high intensity physical activity, which is more challenging, but counts double towards your weekly minutes. So you can get all the benefits of moderate intensity activity in half the time.

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