If you are not used to working out regularly, it can be really hard to stop being a couch potato and get motivated for exercise. But if you implement the following tips, you should find it easier to find your inner fitness junkie.

Start Off with Short Workouts and Work Your Way Up

A great way to stop being a couch potato is by easing yourself into a fitness routine. You can do this by starting off with really short workouts and then making them progressively longer as you move from one day to the next.

Rather than diving into hour-long workouts—and getting so sore from them that you have to take a few days off and lose your momentum—start with 5-minute workouts. After all, any level of activity is better than nothing, and as you start seeing and feeling the results of this activity, you will become even more motivated to keep going.

For the first week, exercise three days a week for 5 minutes each day. During the second week, increase that to 10 minutes a day, and then increase to 15 minutes a day during week 3. During the fourth week, go for 20 minutes a day, and then 30 minutes for week 5, 40 minutes for week 6, 50 minutes for week 7, and an hour each day by week 8.

Avoid Skipping Two Days in a Row

If you start on a Monday and work out three days a week, you would exercise every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can take the weekend off, but make sure that you jump right back in once the workweek starts again.

Avoid taking two days off during the week, as that could throw your momentum off. Instead, establish a schedule and stick with it. Taking the weekend off will give your body a little extra time to rest and build those muscles.

Use Total Body Routines

Exercise routines that work your entire body in a short amount of time are the most efficient way to get in shape. Maximize the time that you spend exercising by using a combination of strength training and cardio moves. You’ll build muscle, increase energy and metabolism, and burn fat.

Before you know it, you will stop being a couch potato and you’ll love working out. In fact, you will get to the point where missing a workout becomes a huge disappointment, especially if you have some motivating workout music to look forward to!