This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit.

For those who live a mostly inactive lifestyle, it can be hard, sometimes painful and even damaging in some cases to jump right into a gym routine or an intense fitness regime; even with the best intentions. Whether the goal is to drop pounds, improve your health or build muscle, we all have to take the first step and get started at getting active.


If you got the green light to get moving, start off slow. Beginners should work out at their own pace and gradually increase intensity once they get the hang of a routine. 

Here are our favorite ways to get active moving towards a healthier lifestyle from Black fitness and wellness influencers that we follow on instagram.

Best Exercises for Beginners to Get Active

1Walking exercise tips for beginners

Most of us walk every day and know that walking is good for us so walk more every day, simple right. Add more walking in your daily schedule and increase the time and distance that you walk every week.

Walking increases your heart rate and helps with fat loss and calorie burning. It also helps with oxygen consumption, lung capacity and cardiovascular endurance. Interval walking, which is walking at a lower intensity for a few minutes, followed by a higher intensity-then going back down-has become very popular.

2Swimming and water aerobics tips for beginners

Swimming and water fitness is a great way to exercise for those who are injured, too obese or overweight to walk or use machines, the elderly and people with joint problems. The water provides some buoyancy. Exercises performed in water relieve stress on the joints and can be really enjoyable. It’s a full-body workout, too. If you enjoy swimming, try committing to it weekly to help build endurance.

3Yoga and chair yoga tips for beginners

Yoga helps with flexibility, core strengthening, improving breathing and relieving stress. It deals with a lot of stretching and isometric holds that can help strengthen your muscles. If yoga is a bit difficult for you, some organizations offers chair yoga classes.

4Planking tips for beginners

Planking is an isometric-holds exercise, which means that it builds strength by having you hold up your own body or hold a position for a certain amount of time. In planking, the person holds a position similar to a plank of wood, hence the name. It’s performed on the floor, holding your body off the ground and straight using your forearms and toes while engaging your core by tightening the abdominal muscles.

Starting with a 5-10 second hold and working your way up to 45-60 second repetitions will make tremendous effects on the body.

5Squat exercises for beginners

Squats strengthen glutes, hamstrings, calves, quadriceps and even your core. To perform a squat properly feet must be shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward and heels flat on the ground. Your knees and thighs should go down to a 90-degree angle. If a regular squat is too difficult placing a chair behind you for support. With this squat you’re squatting over the chair, but never touching it. Beginners should do 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

6Bike riding as exercise

Once you learn, you’ll never forget. So how about putting those cycling skills to good use? DeLeon suggests riding for at least 30 minutes per day, three to seven days per week, to see maximum results. Cycling reduces stress, improves lung capacity, strengthens leg muscles, improves endurance and reduces body fat.

7Dancing as exercise

If you already dance for pleasure, then dancing may not even feel like an exercise. DeLeon says at Detroit Medical Center, they “usually recommend dancing as a leisure activity to do for fun.” And when it comes to fun, there’s no time limit. “If you like dancing, do it for as much as you can,” he says.  Aside from the fun, dancing is a total body workout.

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