Top four tips for getting into exercise

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Written by Thomas Liang, Accredited Exercise Physiologist 

Do you keep setting a goal to ‘get fitter’ or ‘exercise more’ but struggle to find the time or motivation? Here are our top four tips for getting into exercise.

Step 1: Set yourself a goal to work towards

Setting daily, weekly and monthly goals gives you direction and assists with keeping you on track towards greater fitness and improved health and diabetes management.

The below example will give you some ideas on how to set SMART goals:

S (specific), M (measureable), A (achievable), Realistic (realistic) and T (time-based)

For example:

Daily Goal sit less throughout the day.

  • I will achieve this by getting up in the TV ad breaks, walking around the house while I wait for the jug to boil and by walking to the mail box three times throughout the day, before breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • FACT: This increase in incidental activity reduces your sitting time which is important to lower your blood glucose levels (BGLs) and help reduce the risk of other health-related conditions such as heart disease.

Weekly Goal – exercise five days per week for 30 minutes.

  • I will do this at 9am Monday to Friday.
  • FACT: 30 minutes of exercise will enable you to match the recommended health guidelines for the Australian population to remain healthy and reduce the risk of health complications.

Monthly Goal – Reach a total of 20 exercise sessions over the month which accumulate to 30 minutes duration.

  • Increase my step count by an average extra 500 steps per day from my step count on week 1 of my tracking.
  • FACT: 10,000 steps per day is recommended to reduce health risks.

Step 2: Build up your fitness

It’s extremely important if you are new to exercise or activity that you gradually build up your fitness levels. The best way to do this is start out with a form of activity you enjoy and is achievable for you to apply into your day to day routine. Walking is a great way to become healthier and more active. Other forms of activity such as cycling, swimming, dancing/zumba are common examples and just as beneficial to build up your fitness levels. An example of how you can build up your fitness progressively is provided below using walking as an example.

step to walking plan

A one hour workout is only 4% of your day

Step 3: Planning 

Planning your activity will be your key to your success! “Without a plan your goals are just a wish.” A simple tool like this will help you schedule exercise into your day and make it a priority. Plan A may not work so try again and again until you find a plan that works for you and your day to day commitments.

Step 4: Keeping motivated

Use technology to help you stay on track with your activity levels and fitness goals. The following free phone apps may be useful:

Rise and Recharge

  • Measures and alerts you to periods of prolonged sitting
  • Provides motivational comments encouraging change and reinforcing positive behaviours
  • Gives feedback on daily sitting time


  • Measures your steps/activity
  • Can be personalised with a specific target or increments towards goal
  • Easy to read display

Human Activity Tracker

  • Reinforces the National Physical Activity Guidelines
  • Allows you to set goals and gives you feedback throughout the day on your progress towards that goal
  • Helps you track your daily activity
You don’t need to be an athlete, you just need to move a little more than you did yesterday.

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