Healthier You in 2017

How to Jump-Start Your Exercise Routine

running people
(Image credit: Halfpoint |

Live Science is bringing our readers a monthly series on personal health goals, with tips and tricks we've gathered from the many health experts we've interviewed. Each month, we'll focus on a different goal, and the goal for March is Exercise. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to connect with other readers who are working toward these goals.

Jump to: January — Lose Weight | February — Eat Healthy April — Cope with Allergies | May — Protect Yourself from Sun and Heat June — Stay in Shape Outdoors

So many of us have the same relationship with exercise: We know it's good for us, and we're proud of ourselves when we do it — it makes us feel good. But somehow, it's still difficult to feel motivated to work out, so we don't get moving as much as we'd like.

Yet it's impossible not to notice that there are people who succeed, who manage to stand up and truly adopt a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, even while others among us fail, falling back down onto our couches.

To help your story become one of success in 2017, Live Science has pulled together the best studies and expert advice about exercise.  

Why Exercise?

(Image credit: Dreamstime.)

The health benefits of exercise abound. Exercise holds benefits for the human body's tiniest components — such as the mitochondria in your cells — to the biggest facets of your life, such as how long you'll live. If you need motivation to get started, here is a look at some of the most interesting findings on the health benefits of exercise.


How to Get Started

The biggest hurdle to working out is often a lack of motivation to get started. But scientists have found that there are ways to start up an exercise routine, and set expectations for yourself, that may increase your chances of making a lifestyle change.

Infographic: How to Start Exercising in 5 Easy Steps

Here are tips to get you started on an exercise routine. (Image credit: Purch Creative Ops)

More Tips:

7 Exercise Excuses: How to Avoid Them and Get Moving

Here are some of the most common reasons people stop exercising, and tips on how to overcome these barriers. (Image credit: Purch Creative Ops)

Types of Exercise

(Image credit: Photo credits, clockwise from top left: Halfpoint/, Pressmaster/, Tyler Olson/, Yuri Arcurs/

You might think of exercise as being the same as cardio. But cardio, or aerobic exercise, is just one of the four main types of exercise that experts recommend doing. Here is a look at the different types of exercise, and what you can gain from doing each one.


For How Long Do You Need to Exercise?

A workout supplement may contain a compound similar to methamphetamine, a new study says. (Image credit: Muscular guy photo via Shutterstock)

Government guidelines recommend that people spend 150 minutes a week doing moderate-intensity exercise. But if you do more intense activity, like running, these guidelines recommend spending 75 minutes per week exercising.

But few topics seem more debated than how much exercise is enough. From the myriad studies on exercise, a general rule seems to have emerged: Some is better than none, and more is generally better than less (until the "more" becomes extreme). Indeed, evidence from scientific studies has shown that people's health improves even with minor amounts of exercise. Still, if your goal is to lose weight or maintain weight loss, incorporating regular exercise into your lifestyle helps greatly.


What to Eat When You're Working Out

(Image credit: Pindyurin Vasily, wavebreakmedia, Eldar Nurkovic, Marilyn Barbone/

For many people, exercise goals go hand in hand with broader objectives to work toward a healthier lifestyle or lose weight. Experts say that typically, people who start exercising don't need to increase their calorie intake. Rather, exercisers simply need to try to eat a well-rounded, healthy diet, and avoid processed and junk food. Here's the science:

Our definitive guide: Fitness Nutrition: What Science Says About Diet and Exercise

Gear for Your Workout

Let's face it: Many of us like to record our accomplishments. And when it comes to exercising, there's something very satisfying about keeping track of when we worked out, and how far and fast we went. And that's a good thing: Experts say that tracking your exercise can be motivating. Moreover, today's gadgets offer many ways to track aspects of your workout routine. Here are some of our favorites:

(Image credit: lzf/

More Info:

Originally published on Live Science.

Karen Rowan
Health Editor
Karen came to LiveScience in 2010, after writing for Discover and Popular Mechanics magazines, and working as a correspondent for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. She holds an M.S. degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University, as well as an M.S. in cellular biology from Northeastern Illinois University. Prior to becoming a journalist, Karen taught science at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, in Lincolnshire, Ill. for eight years.