I believe that one of the best benefits to exercise is losing weight. 

However, losing weight is just one of the many benefits of exercise.

Start exercising today to get fit and healthy.  

whether you are exercising to lose weight or just wanting to get healthy, these tips apply to the beginners to get you active today.  

Are you ready? Not sure where to start?  These 6 tips will help you begin a workout routine today.

Exercise Tip #1

Ready, set - goal!  You have to want to add exercise to your lifestyle in order to lose weight. Once you know you want it then you have to set your goal. Setting goals is one of the best exercise tips to help you stay on track.

Your goal should be made up of one large goal and several mini goals. 

For instance, your large goal could be to add a 45 minute aerobic exercise 4 times a week and strength training exercises 3 times a week by the end of the year. 

This larger goal is what you want to build up to. 

Exercise Tip # 2

Find your workout area. You don't often see exercise tips that talk about where to workout, but let's face it, if you don't have the right spot then you cannot get a good workout.

So before you start your weight loss workout, take a look at your goal. 

What type of exercises do you plan to do? Walking for exercise is a great way to start. Find a place where you can walk. 

During the summer, this could be your neighborhood, but you may want to find an alternate walking place for when the weather is bad. 

For instance, is your local gym open after school hours where you could walk around the basketball court?

If you are using a favorite workout DVD, then make sure there’s enough room where your T.V. is located to do all the exercises. 

Find a local gym where you can use their equipment if you don’t have your own home gym or room for exercise equipment.

Exercise Tip # 3

Get comfortable. Okay, you are off to a great start. You have your goal and your workout area, now it’s time to get comfortable.

I know, you’re asking yourself, what does she mean get comfortable? Exercise is not supposed to be relaxing. You’re right. I don’t mean sit back, relax and get comfortable. 

What I mean is make sure you will be comfortable during your exercise routine.

So, if you chose walking for exercise, make sure you have walking shoes that will give you the right support. 

You don’t want to damage any muscles just because you have the incorrect exercise apparel.

Make sure your clothes are comfortable as well. They should stretch with you as you move. 

Don’t wear tight jeans or ill fitting clothes. You want to stay focused on your exercise and not the fact that your clothes are irritating you.

Exercise Tip # 4

Start Slow. If you've already read exercise tips 1 - 3, then you now have your goal, your exercise spot and you’re dressed and ready to go, so let’s start exercising.

If this is your first attempt at following a weight loss workout routine, or you haven’t worked out for awhile, then start slow. 

Don’t follow the “no pain, no gain” mantra. This old phrase is still used today and many still believe that if you don’t feel the pain, you have not exercised at a high enough level.

If you feel some muscle soreness the next day, that’ probably okay. But if you can no longer sit up because you did 100 abdominal exercises the day before, then you probably over did it. In fact, if you over do it, you could be damaging the muscle tissues. 

A good exercise tip when strength training is to alternate your muscle groups. Don't work the same muscles two days in a row.

For your aerobic exercises, a good rule of thumb is that you should be able to talk – say a sentence or two – but you should not be able to sing a complete song. 

If you can still sing, then you need to move it up a notch. If you can’t talk, then slow it down.  Make sure you are working within your target heart rate zone.  

Exercise Tip # 5

Warm Up - Cool Down - Stretch. Of all the exercise tips, this is the one that is critical and very often ignored. Before starting any workout routine, whether it be walking for exercise, your favorite fitness DVD or abs exercises, make sure to warm up and stretch those muscles. You want to ensure you don’t tear any muscle tissue during your workout.

woman stretchingYour warm up should be approximately 5 minutes. Simply walk or march in place for a few minutes, then maybe lightly skip – warming up those muscles.

After this, take some time to stretch out - no I don't mean go lie down - I mean stretch your muscles. 
Once you have warmed up, start your workout routine and remember to keep it at the level that’s right for you – not too hard but make it count as well.

Don’t forget to cool down. Your cool down should also be no less than 5 minutes and could be as much as 10 minutes. The cool down process is just as important as the warm up, but for different reasons.

Still not convinced you should warm up and cool down?  Be sure to read this article on the benefits of warming up and cooling down and why you should not skip these critical steps in your exercise routine.

Food can be an important part of your before and after workout routines.  Be sure you know what you should eat before and after your workout.

Exercise Tip # 6

Mix it up. You have now been exercising for a few weeks or even just a few days. Now’s the time to make any adjustments that you may need.

Maybe you started with what you thought would be the best aerobic exercise, like jogging, but you find your knees are not up to the task. Now’s the time to adjust your mini goal and maybe your larger goal. 

Some experts say that walking is actually better for you (easier on the joints) and if done at a brisk pace, can have the same benefits as jogging.

Did your original goal include using a treadmill and then a home gym? That spare bedroom now a bit crowded and your workout routine now consists of moving heavy exercise equipment? Simplify! 

You don’t have to have all the latest and greatest equipment to achieve your goal. Try doing resistance band exercises or get some dumbbells to tone and build lean muscle.

Lastly, make it fun. Mix it up to keep it fun. Add something you like doing, like swimming or water aerobics or even gardening.

Even your favorite sport or leisure activity burns calories. Check out this article on Fun Activities and Calories Burned. Maybe you will take up a new activity once you learn how many calories you can burn.