For some people, getting mentally prepared to work out is more difficult than actually working out. But when it comes to exercise, there is no magic pill. As Amelia Earhart said, “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”

Whatever your mood (lazy, tired, annoyed, stressed) before physical activity, once you finish you’ll feel much better, says Tanya Oliver, a professional trainer at Lifetime Fitness in Boca Raton. (1499 Yamato Road; 561/208-5900;

“Just starting is the key. Take a one minute walk. Then the next day, build it to five minutes, then 10. Next thing you know, you’ll be out there for an hour,” Oliver says.

Oliver’s quick tips on getting started:

  • Listen to your body. “If something hurts, consult a professional.”
  • Do something you enjoy. “I love to rollerblade and salsa, so that’s my cardio!”
  • Consider a heart rate monitor. “I’m a big fan. It’s like having a trainer on your wrist.”

No gym. No class times. No fancy clothes. No other people. No equipment. No excuses.

Oliver put together this no-frills beginner fitness routine exclusively for readers to do in the privacy of their own home.

1. Squats 10-15 reps: Sit in a chair and stand back up. This will give you better form.

2. Incline push-ups 10-15 reps: Push-up from a table top or counter that should hit somewhere between your collarbone and chest. Shoulders and elbows should form a straight line.

3. Run in place or do jumping jacks for one minute.

4. Crunches 10-15 reps: Lay on the ground or a mat. Cross hands over chest like a mummy. Pretend there’s an orange between your chin and your chest. Crunch up for three seconds. Exhale on the up.

Beginners should do the circuit two to three times if possible. If you are already a pro, add 10 reps to each exercise, modify as you wish and do as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes. If you commit to this daily you should see results in as little as a few weeks.