Home Chronic Pain How to Start an Easy Exercise Routine for Beginners

    How to Start an Easy Exercise Routine for Beginners

    Many people with conditions that cause chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis, report that regular exercise improves their condition. Starting a new exercise routine, however, can be difficult. The good news is that once you’re in the groove, it gets easier to get up and moving. Read for tips on how to start an easy exercise routine for beginners.

    Talk to your Doctor

    First and foremost, before starting any new exercise routine, please speak with your primary care doctor. He or she may have recommendations, and can also tell you where you need to be particularly careful. You might have to modify some of the exercises outlined here, and that’s perfectly fine. The most important thing, though, is taking precautions to avoid getting hurt.

    Start Slow

    The key to sustainable success is small, gradual changes. It takes two months to develop a habit, and you can ease into working exercise into your routine. Small changes are more likely to lead to long term change. Think of a large end goal that you might have, like walking or running a mile or 5k, or trying cross country skiing, then break that big goal down into smaller steps. Here are some ideas to get started:

    • Walk in place during all TV commercials
    • Take a walk around the block after dinner 3 nights a week
    • Take yoga or pilates class once a week
    • Do gentle stretches in the morning as soon as you wake up
    • Use a desk peddler at work
    • Use a standing desk at work

    Once you have gotten into the routine of incorporating smaller exercises into your life, you can then take the next step and ramp it up to the next level. Again, the key to sustainable change is gradual improvement over time.

    Work Toward a Balance

    Try to incorporate different types of exercise into your life, including cardiovascular, strength training and exercising. Here are examples of each different type of exercise:


    • Walking, jogging or running
    • Rowing
    • Zumba
    • Water aerobics
    • Jump roping
    • Jumping jacks
    • Elliptical machine
    • Biking
    • Boxing

    Strength training

    • Free weights
    • Weight machines
    • Push ups
    • Sit ups
    • Planks
    • Barre classes


    • Yoga
    • Stretching classes

    Keep an Exercise Journal

    Map out a weekly exercise plan, and be sure to check off when you do get the chance to exercise. If you miss a planned workout, it’s OK. Be easy on yourself, and congratulate your successes. You will have ups and downs, but in the long run, you will be so much happier once you work regular exercise into your life.

    Have you recently started a new exercise routine? Please share your success stories in the comments below.


    1. Before beginning any fitness routine, it’s important to warm up, then do some light stretching. Save the bulk of the stretching for after the workout. Once you’re warmed up, experts recommend three different types of exercise for overall physical fitness: cardiovascular activity, strength conditioning, and flexibility training. These don’t all have to be done at once, but doing each on a regular basis will result in balanced fitness.


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    Maren Nader
    Maren Auxier is a freelance writer for Pain Resource. She is passionate about helping patients find ways to feel better and live better lives. In her spare time, Maren enjoys exercising, hiking, yoga and cooking.

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