Starting an Exercise Routine is the Hardest Part: 5 Effective Fixes

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Envisioning the body and lifestyle of your dreams can be both exciting and intimidating. We all want the dream body, but getting started with an exercise routine is a lot harder than you’d expect

We know the feeling of motivation surging through your veins—you’ve just watched Jump Rope Dude Dan beast through some killer tricks or feel inspired by some of our amazing transformation stories—you’re fired up and eager to make positive changes in your life! That’s awesome!

Yet, time and time again, we think, ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ or after the weekend, ultimately finding ourselves trapped in a cycle of procrastination, avoidance, and guilt. It can feel embarrassing and cause a lot of mental distress. 

Why is it so hard to just get started with an exercise routine?!

We’re often our harshest critics when it comes to our bodies and health. It can be easy to get stuck in negative thought patterns, which adds to the problem. 

The truth is, it’s an incredibly common phenomenon—it’s the start that stops most people!

But don’t fear! Today, we’ll explore why getting started is the hardest part (most of the time) and share valuable strategies to help you overcome the challenge of beginning a fitness routine. 

Why Taking the First Step in Fitness is So Hard

The topic of lifestyle optimization is hot these days—with habit formation at its core. This leads to a lot of interesting advice and misconceptions about forming new health habits and why people get stuck before they start. Do any of the following situations sound familiar?

It’s Overwhelming

Starting an exercise routine can feel confusing and overwhelming, especially if you’re a beginner. Often, people who want to start working out don’t know what exercise routine works best for them, and choosing from the vast array of options coupled with confusing nutritional info can cause analysis paralysis—meaning when presented with too many options, it becomes impossible to choose

This is why taking it slow and focusing on a step, or two, at a time is key. 

For example, if you’re a beginner to exercise with a significant amount of weight to lose, you’ll want to start small with walking to get your body moving. Try incorporating jump rope exercises for around 3-5 minutes a day, 3x per week. 

That’s all you need to think about in the beginning! When it gets easy to do 5 minutes, then you can explore what comes next.

Lack of Time

Implementing a new habit uproots your current routine. Even if that routine is less than ideal, that can be pretty challenging. We are creatures of habit, and it’s hard to stay dedicated to squeezing in a workout on your way home from an already exhausting day (especially when old habits die hard.) 

The modern world forces many of us to balance a fast-paced lifestyle and a fully booked schedule. It’s difficult to find the time and energy to commit to a fitness routine and actually follow through when life gets crazy (and it will.) 

There are plenty of ways to tackle this, but it’s useful to accept this mindset: you’re never going to feel like you have enough time—you’ll have to make time and stick with it even when you don’t want to. 


A harsh inner critic can make starting a new exercise routine feel impossible. There are layers to self-doubt and how debilitating it can be. Just know that everyone feels insecure and doubtful, especially when learning a new skill. 

Often the hardest challenge to overcome is the mental one! Learning a challenging physical skill, like jumping rope, requires muscle memory and that takes a lot of goof-ups and feeling silly and laughing it off. The only way through self-doubt is with practice.

You won’t feel confident for a while, and that’s ok! It’s all part of the process.

The truth is, working hard and being bad at something new is extremely uncomfortable. That’s why, statistically, people are more inclined to give up on new habits involving health and fitness in just a few months.

The only way to know what it feels like to live in your fittest, healthiest body ever is by getting comfy with being uncomfortable, aka “bad” at it.

Know that you know you’re not alone in this struggle. Now, let’s discuss how to tackle the first step. 

How to Get Started with an Exercise Routine

To get going, you’ll need an action plan. Here is our recommended method for starting a new fitness program.

1. Set Realistic Goals

Remember in the example above, we suggested starting with just 5 minutes of jumping rope. That’s because it sets a realistic, measurable goal to achieve. Start with setting attainable goals for where your health is at currently. 

2. Break it Down

Your overall goal can be broad, like losing 20 lbs., but you’ll have to break it down into measurable steps to make sustainable changes. An approach to this could be setting a goal of eating in a 300-500 calorie deficit each day and exercising for 20 mins 5x per week. 

So long as it’s realistic to your current health and fitness level, it can be measurable and achievable. You can easily track when you’re hitting the mark or falling short. This helps build confidence and keeps you motivated.

3. Find an Accountability Partner

Having someone to share your journey with can be extremely motivating and supportive. In fact, people who follow a fitness program with a buddy are far more likely to stick to their workout plans and maintain their results. 

4. Celebrate Small Wins

Acknowledge and celebrate each milestone, no matter how small. This reinforces positive behavior and helps you stay committed. This is why you want to set goals. You’ll stick to your fitness plans if your journey is paved with small celebrations that keep you excited about your journey.

5. Prioritize Consistency Over Perfection

Remember that consistency trumps perfection. Even small, regular efforts add up to significant progress. It would do considerably more good for your health and fitness to jump rope for 3 minutes a day every day rather than 90 minutes once a month, right? Why? 

It’s the same amount of time, yet to force yourself into a 90-minute workout right away is risky and wouldn’t offer much benefit. On the other hand, starting with small, consistent efforts over time builds your strength and endurance in a way that provides lasting results.

Jumping Rope, the Perfect Exercise for Beginners

Sure, we’re a bit biased, but let’s discuss why jumping rope is one of the most ideal exercises for people new to fitness or who struggle to get going.

It’s Accessible

All our workouts require is a simple small fitness tool, the might jump rope!— and we recommend a mat.

That’s it! No fancy, expensive equipment or gym membership needed. It’s affordable and accessible for everyone and travels with you anywhere. 

All you need is your rope and a small space to Do The Thing, making it perfect for workouts at home, the office, a hotel, a park, or a parking lot!

It’s Efficient

Jump rope workouts burn tons of calories in a short amount of time. In fact, as long as your intensity is high, even running can’t compare to the cardiovascular benefits. And you can get a total body workout done in a small space using just a jump rope and your own bodyweight. 

A JRD workout takes usually just 10—30 mins and will leave you drenched in sweat, less stressed, and feeling those endorphins! You’ll never regret a workout, no matter how quick. 

It’s Low-Impact

Many are surprised to hear that jumping rope is not only a low-impact activity, but the minimal repetitive impact from jumping is excellent for your joints and bones! It helps to build stronger bones, and your joints become adept at absorbing shock and rebounding with ease.

This makes it ideal for people of all fitness levels, especially exercise novices, and seniors. Of course, you must listen to your body (and possibly consult with your doctor) if you have health conditions or injuries that could impact your exercise routine. 

It’s a Full Body Workout

Our workouts are total body calisthenics training combined with high-intensity jump rope cardio. In short, our programs are expertly designed to sculpt your entire body in less time by engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously for maximum results.

The Best Workout Buddies

If you’re in need of an accountability buddy or support, we are home to the largest Jump Rope Fitness Community in the world! You can ask us questions, show off your progress, or complete a workout program with a group.

We love jumping rope because you can customize your workouts in a million different ways for more fun, variety, or intensity levels. Our YouTube and the JRD App are full of entertaining, fun, and easy-to-follow workouts that are designed to keep you free from boredom and plateaus.

The JRD App Makes Starting an Exercise Routine EASY!

Are you ready to take the first step towards a healthier, fitter you? 

Try the JRD App free for two weeks to access ALL of our best-selling workout programs, accessible to everyone at every fitness level and skipping ability.

We recommend a goal-based 90-day workout program, like JRD MAX, for someone serious about starting their exercise journey.

It’s a foundational, functional jump rope fitness program providing:

    • Simple follow-along workouts mean you won’t have to doubt yourself and question if you’re doing the exercises correctly. Just hit play and let Dan guide you through each exercise, with modifications, music, timers, and breaks built-in.

    • A real-time coaching experience means you always have a workout buddy to push and encourage you. Also, Dan is pretty entertaining; he’ll make you laugh while you sweat and Do. The. Thing! through each intense workout.

    • Time efficiency is easy when you’re drenched in gassed out and done in 30 minutes or less. Seriously, you have the time when workout with the JRD App. Prioritize your workouts—you’re body and brain will thank you!

    We recommend JRD MAX for someone who struggles to start (and stick with new) new fitness habits because the workouts are efficient and fun! You’ll be highly motivated throughout, and you’ll want to come back each day to see what’s next. 

    JRD MAX is our newest workout program, launched in 2023, and people are loving it! Try JRD MAX with our free trial, or visit for more info.

    Whether you start one of our workout programs or any workout program, we hope you feel inspired and empowered to just get going—there is no better time than now!

    Do. The. Thing! 
    Jump Rope Dudes


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