Thirty day fitness challenge: Beginner

Looking to become more active? It can be tricky to know where to start, especially if you’re used to a more sedentary lifestyle or have simply fallen out of the habit. That’s why we’ve put together this easy 30-day exercise plan to help you build a routine to boost your fitness and wellbeing.

According to our Healthier Nation Index – a survey of more than 8,000 Britons about their health since the start of the pandemic – 73% of people aren’t exercising enough.

That’s around 48.7 million people in the UK who aren’t getting the NHS-recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week (such as brisk walking), or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week, (including jogging).

The survey also revealed that the main barriers for undertaking more physical activity were a lack of motivation or energy (59%), a lack of time due to work (50%), a dislike of exercise (39%) and cost (36%).

Designed with you in mind

We created this plan so that you get your daily dose of exercise, while building up strength and stamina as the intensity gradually increases over the month. To mix things up, the exercises vary from day to day, and each session is quite short, so you can easily fit it into your routine.

The activities are simple, requiring minimal equipment and spend. Remember this is only a guide, so if you don’t have a bike or can’t get to a pool, you can repeat any of the other exercises, or do something like housework or gardening – anything that gets you moving.

When it comes to staying motivated, the key is to keep things interesting. Listen to your favourite tunes or podcasts on your walks and runs. Find an online class that suits you – there are 100s to choose from on Nuffield Health 24/7, our digital platform. And you could even bring someone along with you for the ride, so you’re more likely to stick to it. Here are some more tips for staying active.

30-day exercise plan

  1. Jog for 10 mins
  2. Yoga, Pilates or BODYBALANCE class
  3. Brisk walk for 20 mins
  4. Jog for 10 mins, then do 10 press-ups, 15 squats and 15 lunges
  5. Brisk walk for 20 mins
  6. Cycle 5km
  7. Swim 10 lengths or repeat your favourite session from days 1–6
  8. Brisk walk for 20 mins
  9. Yoga, Pilates or BODYBALANCE class
  10. Do 10 press-ups, 15 squats and 15 lunges
  11. Jog 15 mins
  12. Yoga, Pilates or BODYBALANCE
  13. Brisk walk for 30 mins
  14. Jog for 15 mins, then do 20 press-ups, 30 squats and 30 lunges
  15. Brisk walk for 30 mins
  16. Cycle 10km
  17. Swim 20 lengths or repeat your favourite session from days 8–16
  18. Brisk walk for 30 mins
  19. Yoga, Pilates or BODYBALANCE class
  20. Do 20 press-ups, 30 squats and 30 lunges
  21. Jog for 20 mins
  22. Yoga, Pilates or BODYBALANCE class
  23. Brisk walk for 40 mins
  24. Jog for 20 mins, then do 30 press-ups: 45 squats, 45 lunges
  25. Brisk walk for 40 mins
  26. Cycle 20km
  27. Swim 30 lengths or repeat your favourite session from days 18–26
  28. Brisk walk for 40 mins
  29. Yoga, Pilates or BODYBALANCE class
  30. Do 30 press-ups, 45 squats and 45 lunges

What next?

If you complete the 30 days (well done to you!) – keep going and try to do some form of activity every day. Even if it’s just a quick walk, it’s better than nothing.

Or, if you want to challenge yourself further, you can take on our intermediate exercise plan, or even our advanced variation if you think you’re ready.

Last updated Thursday 29 April 2021