What do I do? Where do I start?
I love my job (personal training, not so much the other one) because I often get clients when they’re at this stage. They know they need to do SOMETHING they just don’t know what to do. That’s perfect for me as a trainer, but not everyone can or is going to hire a trainer. I’m going to tell you the secret to getting started and being successful! Ready?? Here it is.... Just do something. Well that was anticlimactic huh? The truth is, if you’re not doing any exercise now, even the most basic workout is going to be beneficial. Walk. Do some push ups (even if they’re on your knees). Jazzercise (is that still a thing?) The biggest thing is to plan when you’re going to workout, and stick with it for at least a month. The key to reaching fitness goals is always planning and consistency. The same goes for your nutrition.
When I reached this point years ago, I was doing lots of body weight stuff at my house, and invested in a couple of pairs of dumbbells. If you’re able, a reasonable weight kettlebell is very versatile. Through trial and error, you’ll figure out some of your favorite things to do, and what kind of exercises work best for you. From there, you can get more specific with what types of training you do depending on your goals. Ideally, if you're able, do some kind of squat (or lunge), hip hinge (deadlift), horizontal pull (row), push forward (pushup), push vertically (overhead press if shoulder health allows), and a downward pull (pull down). These are all of the basic human movements, and when performed, works all the major muscle groups.
Most importantly in your internet searches, don’t go try to copy what these athletes are doing. Their workouts may be good, but they’ve probably been training for years and years. Start out a little easier than you think you should, and scale up from that point. I’ve talked to a surprising amount of people who were scared away from exercise by being too sore after working out with a buddy or a significant other. “No pain no gain” is gym bro B.S. “An appropriate amount of soreness resulting from gradual progression” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, bummer. Please keep in mind, just because someone is not overweight and have the word “fit” in their Instagram name, doesn’t mean they’re an expert.
One more thing, you will find that barbell stuff such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, and overhead press will no doubt come up in your searches. These are exceptional exercises, but I do recommend you learn from a professional, even if that’s going through a quality how to video on YouTube. Just shoot me an email I’ll be glad to send you some links, or give you pointers I've learned over the years.