3 Tips to Get Moving for Beginners

If you clicked on this blog post, chances are you’re thinking about incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle. Know that this is a great first step that you’ve already taken! To keep you healthy for the long haul, here are 3 tips on how you can get started on (and hopefully stick to!) an active lifestyle:


1) Use Canada’s 24-Hour Movement Guidelines.

We know exercise is good for us, but it can be difficult to know how to start exercising. This is where Canada’s 24-Hour Movement Guidelines come in!

To yield health benefits, these evidence-based guidelines encourage adults ages 18-65 years old to accrue 150 minutes of aerobic activity of moderate-to-vigorous intensity per week (or 30 minutes/day), which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Brisk walking
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Any activity that elevates your heart rate over a sustained period of time!

Additionally, adults are recommended to engage in resistance training twice a week. This may look like:

  • Weightlifting
  • Pilates
  • Calisthenics
  • Any activity that challenges your body against a load, whether it’s external weight or your bodyweight alone!

These guidelines may seem intimidating at first, but know that you can slowly work your way up to these recommendations. At the end of the day, any movement–even a minute of stretching–is better than no movement! The Move U Crew has short and sweet movement breaks on the UBC rec Instagram that can be handy!


2) Make your goals SMART.

If you’re new to exercise, you likely have goals to meet Canada’s 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. Setting goals is great, but making them SMART is even better! Hopefully, the following comparison reveals why:

  • Generic goal: “I want to run more!”
  • SMART goal: “This month, I want to go on 20-minute runs at least twice a week. If this is too difficult, I will start off with 10-minute runs, but if I am successful, I will aim for 30-minute runs the following month! I will also use the Nike Run Club app to track my runs and hold myself accountable.”

So, how can you make your goals SMART? Ask yourself if your goal fulfills the following criteria and/or answer the questions associated with them:

  • Specific – Is my goal too vague? If so, can I narrow it down?
  • Measurable – Can I track my progress using objective measures, such as a stopwatch, heart rate monitor, or app?
  • Adjustable – Can I modify and be flexible with this goal, if need be?
  • Realistic – Is the goal realistic given my current fitness levels?
  • Timely – When do I want to reach this goal? Can I set a timeline?

If you’d like to be personally coached on SMART goal setting, you’re invited to book a free, one-on-one Peer Physical Activity Coaching Session with the Move U Crew!


3) Dress it up!

Bringing a change of clothes or changing into active wear after a long day of class or work can be annoying. A simple life hack to address these barriers is wearing active wear as your outfit of the day! Not only will it save you time (and laundry), but it also primes you to think: “I’m already in my workout clothes, so I might as well get a bit of a sweat going in!” If you need further incentives, consider participating in Active Wear Wednesdays for the month of February, so that you can gain free admission to UBC’s fitness facilities and classes!


We hope that these 3 tips help you embark on this active journey! To celebrate your new commitment to movement, you’re invited to check out the Move UBC calendar for opportunities in February to win prizes, meet like-minded people, and of course, move!