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Exercise to Get Strong & Fit

Exercise Tips to Get Fit

A Beginners Exercise Guide to Getting Strong & Fit


As the temperature goes up and the days get longer the panic increases. How can I hurry and look good in my swimsuit? A gym member approached me the other day asking how to get rid of back fat. I hate to be the barer of bad news but you can’t pick a spot on your body and decide that’s where you want to lose weight. Mother nature doesn’t work like that.

To lose fat you need to exercise to get your heart rate up and sweat for an extended period of time on most days. Then your body will decide which area it will dip into for its energy stores. Some people might lose fat in their waist first. For others it might be their thighs. Keep moving until you get the desired effect. Don’t give up and be patient! It’s important to maintain some kind of fitness activity or you’ll most likely gain more weight back and have a harder time losing it again.

A recent study of Biggest Loser Contestants found many successful participants gained back their weight and sometimes more because their metabolism slowed down and it was harder to maintain a lighter weight once they went back to a normal lifestyle. The body wanted to maintain the heavier weight it was used to.

Continue to be active, make healthy eating choices and let your body find a weight its comfortable being. Stop looking at the photos in the fashion magazine and thinking that’s an attainable weight. Those models are often children and have yet to grow into their healthy adult weight. I no longer have guilty feelings about the “Freshman 15” I gained in college. It was my body growing into womanhood. Awesome!

Exercise to Get Strong & Fit

Exercise to Get Strong & Fit

Do a cardiovascular exercise regularly, like biking, swimming or dancing. Besides burning fat for energy it’s good for your heart muscle.

Additionally, build muscle.  It will make you stronger and increase your quality of life, plus allow your body to burn more calories when you’re at rest. Since I’m an exercise instructor I recommend trying a group fitness muscle conditioning class. A good instructor will lead you through an overall body workout that targets the arm, legs and midsection. Tell the instructor you’re new and they will pay special attention to making sure you’re following correctly.

If you want to strike out on your own to build a stronger more fit body here is a checklist of the types of exercises you should include. 


Using both legs bend your knees and lower your body toward the ground. This will engage the large muscles in your legs. Strong legs are useful for almost anything you do and large muscles burn more calories. You can squat with or without holding weights. You can use a gym machine to do inverted squats to avoid taxing your back.


Alternate taking steps on one leg while bending the knees as deeply as possible. It’s the same idea as a squat, building leg muscles and burning more calories, but this works each leg individually and also includes a balancing challenge for the core.  These too can be done with or without weight. You can lunge in place alternating legs or travel across the room. Another variation is to alternate lunges to the rear, which can be less stressful on the knees.


You can go face down and push yourself away from the ground, or lie on your back and push weights away toward the ceiling. This works the muscles in the chest, shoulders and arms. Building upper body strength makes you look better in your clothes too.


Same idea as the push but working upper body muscles in the opposite direction. You can pull yourself up on a bar or use a machine to pull a weighted bar down. Or rowing on a machine or a boat works these muscles and more.


This strengthens the core, which includes the back one of the most over worked, and over injured areas. Rotating and stabilizing the midsection is a must for a strong center. You can do windmill toe touches by reaching from standing with arms out in a T-position. Reach for the opposite foot while keeping knees straight. Plank holds on the side or face down and adding any rotation is also good.


Hinging at the hips while keeping the back straight will strengthen your lower back and hips. Be careful and bend the knees to avoid over doing it and straining the back.  Some exercises include deadlifts and bent rows with a bar.


These are usually one-legged exercises challenging your core. You can also enhance your balance by standing or doing exercises on a BOSU, balance board or other unstable surface. This will also strengthen your feet and ankles.

If you use weights with these exercise skip a day between workouts. Eventually increasing the amount of weight you use will help you get stronger faster. Don’t forget to add 30-60 minutes of a cardiovascular exercise most days. The longer you elevate your heart rate the more calories you burn. Make sure you discuss new exercise activity with your health care provider.


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Davida Wright Galvin

Davida is a fitness professional and former award winning health and science television reporter. As a mother and wife she juggles the daily challenges of raising three children, working and staying active. She likes to make fitness fun and helping people find joy in exercise so we can cure the obesity epidemic in our country. UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, BACHELOR OF ARTS, Journalism; Certifications (Present and Past): AFAA Group Training, BodyPump, Zumba, Balletone, SCW Personal Training Certification, Turbo Kickboxing, YMCA Personal Training Certification, Vegas Stiletto Fitness, Reebok Core Board Training Certification, CPR/AED & Infant CPR; YMCA Fitness Instructor Certification




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