Returning to exercise after a long stint of inactivity can be very exciting, but it can also be very damaging as well. Many people tend to go way too hard in their first sessions, causing them to feel overwhelmed during the workout and feeling sore for several days after. Especially in your first few workouts, it's very easy to traumatize yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I call this exercise PTSD, and it's a very real problem. Following the trauma of those first workouts, you may feel emotionally defeated and worn out. You're also likely to feel physically damaged and injured, which is very discouraging. Trust me, you don't want negative memories haunting you when you're trying to find the motivation to get back in the gym. Doing so might be detrimental to your quest for better fitness because you could limit your ability to train in the future. If you start your journey with injuries and soreness, you might not be able to overcome those obstacles without significant rehab and rest.
To get the best results, it's a good idea to start slowly. Starting slowly allows you to build your foundation, and as we all know, a solid foundation is necessary if you're building anything that's meaningful and worthwhile. It's also important to develop positive memories of working out because killing yourself with punishing exercise can really put a damper on your internal motivation.
When you start your fitness routine, try to do something that is very easy and obviously achievable. That way, you feel more of a sense of accomplishment, rather than experiencing pain, anguish, and failure. Gradually increase the intensity and overall workout load, gauging your response the entire time. If your body and mind aren't feeling amazing the days following your workouts, you should adjust the intensity and take it easier.
Once you have gained some momentum and developed a solid foundation, moving forward is much easier and enjoyable. Remember, getting fit doesn't have to be painful and torturous. You might have heard the phrase "No pain, no gain" before. There is some truth to that statement, but what I'm saying is that pain and gain are friends that you must get to know very slowly. If you try to walk before you can crawl, you're likely to stumble and fall. Start slow, listen to your body, and don't rush your progress. Eventually, you'll be running at full speed, but only if you're patient.