(CNN) — This is not going to be the year that you make big plans to be more active and then burn out a few weeks into 2024.

Exercise is important — even if you aren’t aiming to be a triathlete. Regular movement helps with longevity, makes us happier and fights against disease, studies show.

What’s going to make this year different as you pursue that resolution to incorporate working out into your regular routine is being realistic and working with yourself to get there.

In 2024, you can get more strengthening and exercise in your day by following these simple and practical steps — no matter whether you’re a gym rat or fitness novice.

1. It’s a walk in the park

Yes, getting started on fitness this year could be as simple as one foot in front of the other.

Walking can do more to combat disease and health conditions than pretty much anything else, according to a previous CNN story.

Studies have also shown that the activity can boost your mood, improve memory and lower stress.

And what’s great is that walking takes nothing to get started — no equipment, no gym membership and no experience necessary.

Because walking is something many of us are familiar with, it is less intimidating and has less of a learning curve than other physical activities, said Evan Matthews, associate professor of exercise science and physical education at New Jersey’s Montclair State University, in a previous story.

There are ways to kick it up a notch once you have incorporated walking into your routine and you are ready to build.

Walking backward on a treadmill or elliptical may increase balance, walking pace and cardiopulmonary fitness, according to a March 2021 study.

Or strap on a backpack during your walk to go “rucking” instead. It’s an exercise used by militaries around the world, and the US army tests recruits’ ability to march with about 35 pounds of gear.

But you can start much lighter than that and work your way up as your fitness grows.

2. Maximizing your to-do list

You don’t have to change your whole life to change your fitness level.

The chores already on your to-do list — gardening, lugging boxes of decorations back into their storage spots or giving your home that spring clean — can be part of how you approach getting fitter in 2024.

You can even burn more calories in an hour by raking leaves than a brisk walk or weight training session, said CNN fitness contributor Dana Santas in a previous article.

To get the most fitness from your to-do list, make sure to warm up, make chores manageable to avoid injury, switch the sides of your body putting in the most effort, stay hydrated, and keep good form, Santas said.

Good form means bending your knees and using your legs as the main source of power when lifting, maintain balance and stability by keeping about a hip-distance stance, and rotating from the middle of your back to avoid strain, she added.

Even the routines that don’t feel particularly active can be part of your fitness resolution.

Santas likes to stack existing habits with fitness for an easy way to be consistent — like doing wall sits while brushing her teeth or push-ups while the water for the shower warms up.

“You realize how quickly a minute goes by. It’s not intimidating, and it’s easier and it makes you start to quickly feel healthier because you’re like, ‘I can do it,’” she said in a previous article. “You’re doing it consistently, and it makes you proud of yourself.”

3. Making friends with the gym

Maybe you feel like you’ve gotten a good start on the everyday fitness, and you are ready to up your game with more serious strength training.

But the gym is intimidating.

One way to get more serious is to start doing strength workouts at home.

You can use your body weight at home to get a high-quality workout that incorporates strength, balancing, flexibility and coordination with exercises like push-ups, squats, planks and sit-ups, Santas said in a previous article.

A broomstick, water bottle, towel, chair and full backpack can also help simulate a gym experience at home, she said.

Or you can conquer your fear by making the gym a more fun place to be.

To start, don’t be afraid to shop around, according to a previous CNN article. You might feel more comfortable in a smaller gym, one only for your gender, or one that has lots of options for classes.

Once you are there, going with friends or taking classes may help you feel some direction and support.

Building habits works best when it’s manageable, so don’t push yourself right away and work up slowly.

And after you are done, it is important to recover, so stretch, rest, hydrate and feed your body, according to Santas.

4. Make a plan that fits your fitness

Not every workout plan is the same, and you want one that matches your goals and preferences.

Take CNN’s interactive fitness quiz to get matched to an exercise approach that’s right for you.

The results are based on factors such as where, how and with whom you would like to work out, and offers ways to get started.

5. Keep in touch

A method to stay accountable and a sense of community around exercise were among some of the most important methods of sustainably increasing exercise in a December 2021 study.

Scheduling when you will exercise ahead of time in a regular interval or finding a way to get fit with friends can help you keep going, according to a previous CNN article.

Even if you don’t have a fitness friend, you can sign up for our Life, But Better: Fitness newsletter for consistent information to feed your workout habits all year long.