Choosing a healthy lifestyle can be a complicated choice to make as there are so many variables to consider. However, the two most important things you can do to improve lifestyle is to improve your health and fitness through diet and exercise.
You know this. Everyone knows this. The difference for you will be what you do with that knowledge.
Overtraining Leads to Injury and Overwhelm
If you’ve never really worked out since high school phys ed, then you might be wondering where to start. There are so many fitness options today compared to the basic jumping jacks and track you may have done in school. But don’t get overwhelmed out the gate… and especially don’t jump in and do too much too soon.
Look at fitness as an adventure rather than a chore.
- What kind of things do you enjoy?
- What kind of new activity or active hobby are you interested in trying?
- Do you want to do gym workouts or at home?
- Should you start jogging, train for a marathon or lift weights?
- Should you workout solo, with a buddy or hire a personal trainer?
Add your own thoughts to this list and start with the one that’s initially most appealing to you.
Hire a Personal Trainer for a Few Sessions
When it comes to gym workouts and training, if you can afford a personal trainer, even if for a session or two, that’s the way to go. A personal trainer will get you started with a safe and effective workout plan and help you learn how to navigate the gym. Most PTs would be glad to train you for a few sessions, then as part of your last session together, he could also create a workout plan for you that you can do on your own.
The other next best thing if you join a gym is check the gym schedule and show up for exercise classes. Most gyms have numerous exercise classes, and many have strength and resistance training as well, which is definitely recommended for optimal fitness. We recommend trying a different class each day, or each week so that you can have exposure to a number of different options, trainers and fitness results.
Hardcore Fitness or Slow and Safe?
First, congratulations on your decision on starting to working out regularly!
Your best bet right now is to go slow and safe. Remember, the tortoise won the race. And guess what? That’s more than a myth. Recently there was an actual race conducted between a hare and a tortoise and, yep!… the tortoise did win!1)https://youtu.be/TjMueMceFik
We know you’re gung ho to take on the gym and see fast results. But progressing slowly but steadily, is the surest and safest way to achieve your fitness goals.
According to the Mayo Clinic,2)https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20048269 the best approach to starting a new workout routine is to start off slow and incorporate new things into your routine as you progress. This sounds like obvious advice, but more injuries and quitting happens from overtraining and burnout than most anything else. Burnout can happen when you try to take on too much too soon as well.
Don’t try to do too much too soon.
You know the New Year’s saga: gyms are crazy busy in January and less so in February and almost back to normal by March.
If you start with a reasonable plan, you’re more likely to avoid burnout and injury, and the workouts will be more enjoyable. When exercising, the key is not to push yourself too far beyond your limits, or at least not when you’re a beginner. Your body won’t be ready to take on a hardcore training session from day one. After all, it’s probably been awhile since your immortal high school years.
Starting off slow is the best way to evolve towards more serious training. If you take your time to progress with your workout routine, you will be able to achieve the results you want, without injury or burnout.
Celebrities like Beyoncé and Jessica Alba swear by insanely hard workouts. We’ve written about high intensity interval training in this article, and the good news, is that you can pretty much do HIIT at most any fitness level, so long as you have a clean bill of health from your physician.
Remember, patience and moderation are key.
How to Start Your Workout Routine
Now that you’ve decided to start off slowly and give yourself some time to progress and get good at working out, it’s time to start the actual routine. However, when you’re a beginner everything can seem confusing. The following five step plan will give you a nudge in the right direction and help you start working towards your fitness goals.
1. Establish Your Abilities
An important first step towards a successful workout routine is establishing what your abilities are. In other words, if you have bad knees, then jogging or treadmills may not be for you, but ellipticals and bikes might do just fine. If you can’t do squats just yet, you will be able to do more by strengthening your legs doing what you can. So you might do leg extensions and leg curls for instance, instead of squats, and work your way up to it.3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15785295
2. Set Your Goals
Establishing a consistent workout schedule is essential. Decide when to workout and do it. Let your friends, family and co-workers know that you’re doing it. If you don’t tell anyone it’s way too easy to let yourself off the hook the first time you’re too tired to get up early or go after work.
Studies show that people who workout in the morning are more likely to stick to their plan. We’ve see both, morning and evening plans have success and failure. It really just depends on you. E.g., It’s just as easy to sleep in as it is to feel too tired after work. You know yourself, so choose the timing that best fits your personality to set yourself up for success. One thing is certain:
Even if you feel tired, if you force yourself to workout, you will feel so much better and more energized afterward.
You’re planning this for the long haul… for fitness as a way of life. So incorporate your routine and exercise plan into your lifestyle.
3. Invest in Yourself
The temptation of new exercisers determined to get fit is to go out and buy new workout clothes, running shoes and even equipment. There’s many a treadmill and stationary bicycle that have turned into coat hangers and dust collectors that end up at yard sales. So don’t spend money first. Wait to establish a routine before spending money on equipment. Just a few things to start, such as your gym membership, gym workouts, a personal trainer, or some workouts if you’re exercising at home are enough to start.
You can get these systematic gym workout for beginners here.
4. Get Creative
Don’t just do the same thing over and over again. In order to keep your workouts fun and engaging, you need to switch it up from time to time. So instead of hopping on the treadmill yet again, you might do a bike trail this weekend with some friends, or a fun and vigorous hike.
5. Assess Your Progress
It’s important for you to periodically clock in your progress so that your routine can evolve accordingly. If you want to achieve your goals in the shortest time possible then you need to prevent yourself from getting stuck in a rut. Help your routine grow so that it can help you grow in return.
Our favorite way to track our fitness progress is to monitor fat percentage versus muscle mass. The simplest way to do that is with a body mass scanner. We use the Tanita with the smartphone app that sends your readings to your phone. If I don’t exercise for a day or so, invariable, the fat percentage will increase and the muscle mass will decrease. What also happens then is the biometric age increases. Similarly, with regular workouts, your biometric age decreases. It’s super easy—and motivating so see such a direct cause and effect relationship between the two.
You can read more about the body fat calculator scale here. We consider it an essential piece of fitness equipment. If you’re only measuring your weight on a regular scale, you’ll miss some of the most relevant bits of information you’ll want for achieving the best fitness results.
For gym etiquette and training tips for beginner exercisers, you may enjoy this article.
Get Started Right Now
Nike was brilliant when they trademarked the phrase that says it all:
Just Do It!
At MyTrainerFitness we also say:
Never easy… always worth it.
Because we’ve never ever regretted working out. Regrets only come from dodging out and making excuses. You will never regret every effort made to be fitter and healthier. With every effort you make, you add more health, vitality and longevity to your life.
You’ve got this. Do it for you.
Feature Image Source: Pexels.com4)https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-athlete-barbell-body-685530/
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