You’ll also want to find a snug, supportive sports bra and a couple of sweat-wicking tops and pants or shorts. “A few cute workout outfits that you feel comfortable in are a great investment because there is nothing like ‘feeling the part’ to get you motivated to get moving,” says Tanker.
You don’t have to go overboard, though: A workout tank is a workout tank. You don’t need to invest in a running tank, a yoga tank, or a lifting tank, for instance. Check your closet to see what you already have—especially pieces that you may have forgotten about!—and if you do need to buy some new pieces, shopping off-season (say, buying zip-ups for cold outdoor running in the summer) can help you save some cash.
3. Start by scheduling just two workouts a week—but make movement a daily thing.
“As you get started working out, think about long-term consistency. A great question to ask yourself is, How many days a week can you realistically fit into your life?” says Tanker. She recommends working your way up to three to four days a week, but that doesn’t mean you have to start there.
Begin by scheduling just two workouts a week, Tanker suggests. These can be as short as a 30-minute resistance training workout, Comas says. Setting a realistic goal is key to sticking with it, and since you’ll probably be sore after your first handful of workouts, this means you’ll have a few days to recover in between.
While you won’t be penciling in actual workouts every day, you still should try to do some kind of movement every day to help you build a habit, Sivan Fagan, C.P.T., founder of Strong with Sivan in Baltimore, tells SELF.
“Doing something small each day—even if it’s 15 minutes of walking—really builds the momentum and reinforces the habit,” she says.
4. Find a time that works for you.
There’s always been a lot of talk in the fitness world about when’s the best time to work out. The answer, however, is actually pretty simple.
“There is no set time that’s the best for working out,” says Fagan. “The best time is always the one that fits your lifestyle, your preferences, and your energy level.”
The way to find this out is to experiment with different times, seeing when you feel your best and when you’re most likely to do it, she says. You might find that becoming a morning workout person works for you, since you can get your workout out of the way before something comes along to sideline it. On the flip side, the thought of waking up extra early might completely turn you off, and you might benefit more from carving out some time after work to disengage from the workday. In that case, evening workouts might work best for you.
5. “Date” different types of workouts until you find the ones you truly like.
There really are endless types of workouts out there, and the truth is that the best workout for you is the one you’ll actually do and enjoy. The number one way to find the best fit for you is through trial and error, even though it may feel daunting at first.
“Try a bunch of different types of classes until you find what resonates with you. Something will!” says Harrison. (And yes, this can still apply in a home-workout world, since there are tons of virtual classes at your disposal, whether through fitness apps or streaming from your local gyms.) Start with one you’re initially drawn to, whether it’s barre, boxing, Pilates, dance cardio, yoga, a strength class, you name it, and keep trying new ones from there until you find what you enjoy.