If you have been thinking about starting a fitness program and haven’t exercised on a regular basis in quite a while, here are 5 tips to help you get started. These tips will also make getting started easier and give you a better chance of sticking to your new program long term.
1 : Start Slow
As someone new to exercise the LAST thing you want to do is go into your first day/week full speed. This is one of the biggest reasons people quit working out. They go too hard too fast and are so sore they hate it. You should leave each workout that first week thinking you have more in the tank. If you stop before you reach total exhaustion, you will feel the workout over the next couple of days, but you will not be miserable, AND you will want to come back the next day. So always err on the side of stopping to soon that first week.
2 : Warm up THEN stretch
ALWAYS warm up!!! This gets the blood flow going and prepares your body for the upcoming workout. Also, always stretch AFTER your warm up. You should never stretch a cold muscle, this can actually lead to injury. Think of a muscle like a rubber band. If you put a rubber band out in the cold, then stretch it quickly, it breaks quickly, but if you put a rubber band out in the heat then stretch it, it will stretch much farther before it snaps. Your muscles work exactly the same way.
3 : Keep things fresh and don’t get caught up in one type of exercise
There is an ongoing battle about what is better for you, Cardio or strength training. The answer is simple, its BOTH. Be sure to get good strength training in to strengthen your muscles and bones, as well as good cardio for hearth health. Plus, by switching it up, you won’t get bored near as quickly.
4 : Know your limits, and use proper form
When you are new to exercise and strength training, always start with a very light weight you know you can do. It’s better to start light and move up, than start to heavy and inure yourself. Also, if you don’t know the proper form, ask someone. Every gym has trainers or staff that can demonstrate proper form of most exercises. And if possible, hire a fitness professional for at least a few sessions to give you one on one attention to make sure you understand all the basics. The more you know about what your doing, the better chance you have at sticking to your new program for the long term.
5 : Know when to rest
This is KEY. Gone are the days of “if you are sore, then go to the genesis gym and work it out”. That does more harm than good. We have to listen to our bodies. If you are sore from a workout, don’t go in the next day and work the muscles that are sore. Remember, muscle have to recover to rebuild stronger. If you work a sore muscle, all you are doing is breaking down an already broken down muscle. Rest and recovery is just as, or more important than, exercise. So listen to your body, and if everything hurts, take a day off. The average adult only needs 3-5 hours of exercise per week.