11 Steps To Successfully Start Exercising For Mental Health

Start eating clean.

Start meditating daily.

Become one with yourself.

Welcome to the world of "let me help you rid your depression and anxiety"

These ideas are not wrong, yet they are not easy to pick up and do without a guide to help you.

The biggest hot take on getting your mental happiness back from depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, BPD, bipolar and every other mental health problems under the sun is to start some fashion of physical activity. 

And you know what?

That is not wrong.

The Mental Health Foundation has written this article "How to Look After Your Mental Health Using Exercise."

Help Guide wrote this article "The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise."

Psychology Today published "How Your Mental Health Reaps the Benefits of Exercise."

Go ahead, give them a read and come back to read this. It will only take 12 minutes of your time.

These are all reputable, long-standing sources of information in mental health from all over the world. The problem with these blogs is that they do not show you HOW to execute these ideas that will help your mental or emotional state for the better.

Millions of people can list off the reasons why getting more fit is a good thing for you.

It gives you a sense of purpose.

It helps you sleep better.

It will lengthen your life expectancy.

It improves your mental health.

But that's, not the problem. 

The problem is.


Statistics and words of insight won't help you figure out what clothing you need for the gym or the number of days you should be going for a week, or finding a loss of interest in your initial goals.

Nor can it help you when you are in your 23rd workout in 30 days and want to give up because of the idea of your couch and tub of Ben and Jerry's is far more enjoyable than finishing the 5th set of your 7 round circuit.

That is why I am writing this blog. I want to give you the tools for the best chance to start and continue a fitness routine until it becomes an act of habit. 

Once it becomes a habit, then you're on your way to success.

Over my ten years being a personal trainer, I have changed countless lives of obese, despair ridden and insecure individuals to World record-holders, new-found business entrepreneurs but most important just making people confident in their skin again.

To make this a habit-forming routine, you need to act on 3's 

3 Months.png

Stay dedicated for this time, and you will have set a proper foundation to feel more comfortable and confident of keeping doing it.

A sixty-minute workout 3x a week isn't too much to ask when it makes your life a happier place to live and start to feel good again, is it?


Why Do I Need A Daily Plan To Succeed In My Workout Routine?

When starting a new exercise routine, we tend to think that the hardest part will be the sixty minutes of working out.

While realistically, 92% of all failed fitness plans are given up on due to external reasons outside of the actual workout.

  • Not Allocating Enough Money For Gym Payments ( yet 12 dinners out a month are happily paid for without a second thought)

  • Days are not pre-planned accordingly ( ' forgetting ' you have a meeting, and missing out on the opportunity for a morning workout you had time to do before work )

  • Unrealistic expectations ( Most people on average lose 1.5% of body fat a month, and that is with optimal focus and eating right… 20lbs in 3 weeks just isn’t possible )

  • Not changing your eating habits ( Eating right isn't hard if you plan for it by going to the grocery store and kick the fast-food meals )

Any excuse we can come up with when we are physically beat-up from the past week's dedication, will trump any motivation we had built up.

By taking the time before to find the closest gym to you, getting everything you need from a water bottle to clothing and paying for a full year membership upfront. These actions will allow you to void a majority of the pitfalls that succumb the majority of all newbies in the gym.

This isn't a sprint.

It's a journey for long-term happiness.

Plan and execute.


How Do I Start To Get Active?

Sit down and pull up your calendar for the week. If you do not use a calendar, write down on a piece of paper your day from when you wake till when you go to bed.

Workouts are highlighted in brown / I Give myself enough time to travel and shower in the scheduled time

Workouts are highlighted in brown / I Give myself enough time to travel and shower in the scheduled time

By doing this, you can see what has to happen in your week.

As you can see, I filled in 90-minute slots throughout the week in where I had free time between clients and my other engagements.

Colour code your planner. Give yourself the best opportunity to act on your pre-planned actions.


When Should I Workout?

There are three times of the day that you should look at when fitting in your workout for the day.

  • Morning

  • Lunchtime

  • After Work

Working out before work ( Most Efficient )

Mornings probably sound like the least enjoyable time to workout, but working out before your day begins will give you the best chance to keep up your new-found routine and succeed. Choosing this time will provide you with the least amount of resistance.

Check out this blog I wrote on how to set up your night before properly so you can conquer that early morning workout!

Working out at lunchtime ( Moderate )

Lunch workouts will most likely be more rushed and shorter due to time constraints. However, for individuals who have a hard time fitting anything into their busy schedule, taking that mandatory free time from work allows for an ideal opportunity to squeeze in a workout.

Working out after work ( Least Efficient )

Waiting to get your workout in after work will sound like the best path for you, due to ease and comfort. The problem with this time of day is every gym is fullest at this time, and you will have many reasons to skip the workout. 


  • Tired from a hard workday

  • Did not eat enough to have adequate energy

  • Friends text you to do something else

  • Forgot your workout clothes

  • You name it, it WILL happen


What Apparel Do You Need To Wear At The Gym?

  • A pair of trainers - Gear patrol has a good list of gym shoes you can check out.

New Balance Minimus 40 Trainer / Ideal for all forms of exercise

New Balance Minimus 40 Trainer / Ideal for all forms of exercise

  • Gym Shorts - I suggest you don't use a pair or board shorts or anything thick. Try a selection from here.

Saxx Kinetic Sport Shorts / Ideal gym shorts are lightweight and flexible

Saxx Kinetic Sport Shorts / Ideal gym shorts are lightweight and flexible

  • Leggings - I do not have any insight here, sorry ladies. But this blog does!

GymSHark Flex High Waisted Leggings / Comfort and ease to move are ideal

GymSHark Flex High Waisted Leggings / Comfort and ease to move are ideal

  • Tops - Find your style, whether it be Tank top, T-shirt or a big ol hoodie.

Reigning Champ Scalloped Hoodie Midweight Terry / I prefer baggy and warm, while others may want tanks

Reigning Champ Scalloped Hoodie Midweight Terry / I prefer baggy and warm, while others may want tanks


How To Choose A Gym

Pull up your browser and type in 

" Gyms around me "

I walk everywhere, so my gym has to be 17 minutes or less walk from me

I walk everywhere, so my gym has to be 17 minutes or less walk from me

Look for the gyms that are within 17 minutes of accessibility to your home or your work.

Depending on when you decide to work out, will depict what gym location is best for you. 

By choosing a gym within 17 minutes of travel will give you the best chance at succeeding in getting to the gym.


How to sign up for a gym membership

The majority of gyms will give you a 5-7 day free trial use of their facilities before you sign up. I suggest you only use this if you have two or more gyms that look ideal to you in your 17-minute travel window.

If the first gym you go to is the only gym available to you, then go in to buy a membership that same day. Remember that your goal in this is to get healthier long term, so delaying the inevitable of investing in yourself for seven days is not a positive step for you.


Which gym membership is best?

Purchasing the full year gym membership is best for your long term success, and they will give you a discounted monthly rate. Choosing a monthly plan will only up the cost per month and also give you an quick escape plan to give up every 31 days.

Don't let a lump sum of money be the reason you don't achieve what you want.

Is your mental health not worth every dollar in the world?


How Much Does A Gym Membership Cost?

Low Cost ( YMCA / Planet Fitness etc ) 

Cost per month: 15-30$

Yearly: 180-360$

Medium Range ( Goodlife / Steve Nash etc )

Cost per month: 40-80$

Yearly: 480-960$

High End ( Equinox/ Life Time )

Cost per month: 150-250$

Yearly: 1800-3000$


Do I Need A Personal Trainer?


1000% yes

Anyone who can guide you through the pitfalls of starting a fitness routine for the first time in your teens, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, even 60's or 70's is well worth the money invested.

Everything from how to perform each lift properly to how long you need to take between each rep. The intricacies that fall into a workout are abundant, only having someone there who has been through it all will make for the most optimal use of your time and best possible future outcome.


How Much Does A Personal Trainer Cost?

This answer is not so easy to give, due to the desire of personal trainers throughout the world differs. Also, the cost of living in a city drives the price of trainers up the majority of the time.

You should be looking anywhere between 80-150$ per personal training session. If anyone is offering less than that, then you should be wondering if the trainer can do what you need. 

See your trainer three times a week. 

Gain as much knowledge as possible as quickly as possible for the highest optimal outcome.


What is the most significant area to Invest in your life?

If working out was easy, we all would be a much fitter society and happier. 

The thing is, it isn't.

Like many things we desire, exercising for a healthier mind and body is filled with countless hours that we need to invest in before we can grasp our goal.

Take this one day at a time and follow my directions in each step, and I promise you WILL be in a better place 3 months down the road than you are today.