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Getting started and staying active

Mother and daughter walking together

If you think getting fit is difficult, you are not alone. Many people find it hard to get started, for many different reasons. Do any of these reasons sound like you?

  • I can’t exercise because I don’t have any equipment
  • I don’t have time to exercise
  • I don’t know how to exercise
  • My parents/guardian aren’t active
  • Exercise sounds so boring to me
  • Equipment or health clubs cost too much

If you can relate to any of these statements, it is important that you read on for tips on leading an active lifestyle. You don’t have to be an athlete or be involved in an organized sport to be fit. You just have to sit less and move more! It is also important to get other members of your family moving, too.

Make a fitness plan

There are lots of other things that might get in the way of regular exercise. You might think your schedule is full or you are not sure how to get started. For each situation, there is a solution.

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Once you get past these challenges, decide when you are going to exercise and which activities you would like to do.

When you think about a new physical activity, ask yourself these questions:

Teen girl walking in the city

  1. Will you enjoy it?
  2. Is it safe?
  3. Is it available to you?
  4. Do you have the time to do it?
  5. Do you have friends who do it, too?

If you answered “no” to these questions, find another activity. It is better to find something that fits into your schedule, that you will enjoy, and that you can do safely. The important thing is that you get moving and there are lots of ways to get started! Walk when you talk on the phone, use the stairs instead of an elevator, and walk or bike to school. Don’t worry if you don’t have athletic equipment — you don’t need anything special to exercise. You can:

  • Use canned foods as weights
  • Go for power walks or run around your neighborhood or the school track
  • Use your own body weight to strength train by doing push-ups, sit-ups, tricep dips, and lunges

There are many different exercises to work all parts of your body. This chart shows the specific muscles worked by the different exercises.


Content last reviewed October 09, 2009
Page last updated April 09, 2014