The first step is the hardest when it comes to any kind of fitness goal. Whether it’s tying your sneakers for a walk or resisting the urge to purchase that snack at the convenience store that you don’t need, getting the ball rolling is difficult for us all.

However, the first step should not take a lot of hype. Just get out and do something. The main thing you need to realize is that you didn’t get out of shape overnight. That one piece of pie didn’t make you fat. Chances are you have a lifetime of accumulated crap you have done to your body and it is NOT going away rapidly. There is no magic pill and you need to face that. In fact, the rule of thumb is that we lose our fitness 3 times faster than we gain it. Meaning if you work out for 3 months and take a month off you will be back where you began…damn.

My suggestion is to start small. Take short walks.  Spend a few minutes on that exercise machine you purchased years ago. Stretch 10 minutes a day. Since you are reading this you have internet skills. Download a beginner’s yoga video and give it a try. Simple things like lying on the floor then getting up to a standing position. Think that’s easy? Do it 10 times. It requires a great deal of muscles you normally don’t use.  Remember start small like taking the stairs, or park by the furthest cart-return so you walk a little extra, get out of that recliner and do something on the floor…MOVE.

Avoid joining the gym to work out with one of their “trainers.” They generally push way too hard by treating you like a 20-something, then you’ll get sore and never come back. (most trainers got their license on-line and have no formal training or knowledge of anatomy, physiology or proper technique… my suggestion is to avoid them unless they are highly reputable). Give yourself some time before taking up a new sport until you have preconditioned your body. Pickle ball, tennis and other active sports may lead to sprains and strain, sore muscles, frustration and then failure. Give yourself a few months of movement and stretching before jumping right into a strenuous activity.

What will make that first step significantly easier is sharing this fitness journey with someone. Whether it’s a significant other, friend or relative, we all could use a little motivation together. Sharing an activity with someone makes it more likely you will follow through and be motivated to continue.  Every day at the gym, I see couples working out together, friends pushing each other on the weight equipment and a group of elderly gentlemen sitting on the comfy bicycles peddling along, shooting the breeze with each other–much like my dad did at the coffee shop every morning, all while getting in some physical activity.