Home / Advice / I want to start exercising. Where do I start?


The simplest answer to this is: Just start. But I will explain more.

The easiest, simplest, cheapest and generally more efficient way to get exercising is to just move. Go for a walk. Doesn’t have to be far, it just has to be more than you were doing last week.

Just put on your shoes, go out the door, and walk. That’s it. That’s the best place to start. Each week, go a little further, or add in some hills. Don’t worry about gym memberships or flash gear. You don’t need it. Just you and your feet.

If funds and time allow, and it’s what you want to do, then join a gym or go to group exercise classes. (You also can join my Members section, and have access to home workouts there) but don’t feel that to get started with exercise, you have to spend heaps of money and time.

If it helps, set a goal. Maybe enter a fun run or walk. A mini triathlon or have a family holiday booked where you need to be able to get around more. But in the nitty gritty of it is this: movement is everything. The more of it you do, the fitter and more energetic you will become. And on that note… in regards to exercising for fat loss:

It’s not what you do SOME of the time that matters most, it’s what you do MOST of the time.

What I mean by that is: Your time you spend doing intentional exercise? That’s awesome. But it’s only a very small part of your daily energy expenditure. Believe it or not, all the bits and pieces you do throughout the day, all that adds up to MORE than your 30 minute walk.

So this is why going for a walk doesn’t afford you the “right” to sit on your ass for the rest of the day because “you earned it” Nope. That’s not really how it works. You’ve exercised, and that’s great but that’s only a very small portion of the 24 hours we all have in a day.

I’m going to go on a bit of a tangent and be a bit sciency here, but there is method to my nerdiness, so please stick with me.

BMR: Base (Basal) Metabolic Rate: If you were to spend the entire day doing nothing but rest – the number of calories you burn doing so is your BMR.

TEF: Thermic Effect of Feeding. The amount of calories you burn eating. Yep. It’s a thing.

TDEE: Total Daily Energy Expenditure. This is how many calories you burn in a day. This factors in your BMR as above, as well as calories burnt while exercising, but also while eating, sleeping, working, the bodily functions that keep you alive, and even the calories burned while going about your day. Yep, you even burn calories while you sleep.

EAT: Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. This is the calories burned while doing actual, intended exercise.

NEAT: Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. This is the calories burned while going about your day. So taking the elevator vs taking the stairs, walking to the dairy instead of driving, playing with the kids at the park instead of watching them. All that stuff. This is the part that adds up the most, because in a 24 hour period, you have more opportunity to move more, rather than just that 1 hour or however long it is that you do planned exercise.

Image from Researchgate.net

So if you take a look at the image above – your BMR/Basal Metabolic Rate, makes up 70% of all of this – the basic functions that keep you alive and what you do throughout your day. The calories burned whilst doing planned exercise, your EAT only makes up 5%. The place you have the MOST room to burn more calories, is your NEAT. Your Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, at 20%.

The point of all this sciencey stuff is this – step up the planned exercise, ABSOLUTELY. Everything counts, and it’s great for fitness, energy levels and your mental health.

But as well as that – just move more. Take every opportunity you can to get more movement into your day, not just that 20 minutes-1 hour out of 23 that you work out. Take the kids for a walk, do extra trips with the groceries instead of trying to do it all in one go (you know this one, I know ya do), walk around while you talk on the phone, do some squats while you stand at the kitchen sink, if your job is quite sedentary, park a bit further away so you get in a few more steps before and after. Meeting a friend for coffee? Why not do a walk and talk instead?


A bit about me: I started MisFIT NZ because I know what it’s like to have no idea where to start, to be overweight and have no energy to play with my kids. It’s not fun, and now, through a lot of trial error, I’ve found the secret sauce. But it’s not even a secret. Just plain old fashioned hard work, but it can be hugely beneficial to have someone on your side. Someone who backs you 100% and celebrates your highs, and support you in your lows. I work mostly online, so it doesn’t matter where you live, we can chat and see what we can do. You can see more here.