DISCLAIMER: Before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician. Particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, elderly or have any chronic or recurring conditions. The information within is not meant to replace or be used instead of, advice from a qualified medical professional. The publishers and authors of this information are not liable or responsible for any injury or mishap caused directly or indirectly from using this information. You are solely responsible for how you perceive and use the information within, and do so at your own risk.
Getting Started With Exercise
Starting an exercise program is one of the best steps you can take to stay healthy. Physical exercise can reduce the risk of chronic disease, help you lose weight, improve your balance and coordination, and even improve self-esteem and your sleep habits.
It is important for everyone to maintain a healthy body through regular exercises. Regardless of whether you are already overweight or not, it is never too late for you to get started with exercise and fitness programs.
Seniors can really benefit from exercising regularly. This can help keep their joints functioning and can help alleviate pain due to arthritis. For anyone reaching the age of 50+ staying active can ensure that regular day to day activities such as carrying your shopping bags, vacuuming and caring for your grandchildren do not become difficult or a burden to perform.
Despite the fact that most people have an idea of what makes up a healthier lifestyle, the population of those who are more overweight, or inactive is increasing day by day. This indicates that it’s one thing to know about health and another thing to act.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH A FITNESS ROUTINE
There is no doubt that you probably have some idea of what a fitness program is. A fitness routine is an exercise program or schedule that you follow daily and religiously. When starting a fitness program, there are a few considerations that you should make, and they include:
Assessing Your Fitness
It is important to be aware of how fit you are before embarking on any aerobic or muscular exercises. It is important to assess your body fitness. This type of assessment covers several areas including:
• Recording your body weight.
• Recording your pulse rate
• The time you take to walk a mile
• The total number of push-ups you can do in a single set
• How far you can stretch while seated on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
You may also need to measure the circumference of your waist just above the hipbone.
Designing the Most Appropriate Fitness Program
It is quite easy for you to say that I will be exercising daily. However, you will have to set a plan of action in place, which will help you achieve your fitness goals such as losing weight, preparation for a marathon or even maintain your current form. As you design the program, have a balanced routine, set it at your own pace and rate, make it a priority, include different exercises and activities, and finally allow time for resting and recovery. Write the plan or program down.
Get the Necessary Equipment
There is some equipment that you may need to purchase for protection and comfort purposes. A pair of gloves, as well as track or sports shoes and comfortable track pants or shorts, are some of these recommended items. Go for something that is enjoyable to use as well as comfortable on you.
Try to select clothing made from natural materials. These will help keep sweat and moisture away from your skin. Keeping your body temperature more even so you don’t suddenly get the chills from overheating. Plus natural clothing tends to dry quickly, which is good, as you may need to wear the same clothes the following day.
After ensuring that you have all the above requirements, you are good to kick off your exercises. Ensure that you take a slow start and always start your workout with a warm up. This can be easy walking as well as slow and gentle stretching.
As you improve on your stamina, gradually increase the amount of exercises you perform. You should also ensure that your timetable breaks down exercises in a balanced manner so that you cover most of them in a week.
Suggested Warm Up Exercises Include:
• Arm windmills
• Triceps dips
• Stretching with an exercise band
• Walking or marching on the spot
• Jumping jacks
• A short run
It is advisable for you to take rests and also listen to your body to determine the rate at which you should exercise. Rests help with body growth and regaining of your strength. Anytime you feel pain, loss of breath, nausea or dizziness, you should quit the workout and take a rest. Straining your body can lead to external or internal injuries that can be hazardous and painful.
Always carry a bottle of water with you and take a sip every 10 minutes. This will help keep your body hydrated and help reduce the possibility of muscle cramps.
Similarly, as you start your exercises, ensure that you keep records and take measurements to monitor your progress. Take personal assessments after about 2 to 4 weeks to determine your development.
This can be seen by weight loss, increase in time you exercise and body flexibility. As you start your exercising program, it is advisable you exercise with a friend so they can motivate you.
SUGGESTED TYPES OF FITNESS
As you kick off your exercise routine, you must keep in mind the most important exercises to incorporate in your schedule. Here are some of the top weight loss workouts, body maintenance and fitness exercises that you can have in your timetable. However, ensure that you pick the most appropriate one for you depending on your strength and capabilities and avoiding the stressful and risky ones.
Yoga is a dynamic way of recharging body energy and eliminating stress. This form of exercise targets stability, core strength, and general body fitness. It provides great improvements in terms of weight loss and body fitness in just a few weeks.
However, you will need to participate in a yoga class to attain full benefits since working out without a trainer is absolutely unnecessary.
You may prefer to use a Yoga DVD that you can use at home. This way you can exercise any time of the day or night. Perfect for the busy stay at home parent, or if you live too far from your local gym.
This is the most preferred full body exercises you can ever engage in to give your body strength and lose weight. The best thing about jogging is that it does not require gym training fees, expensive equipment or subscriptions; all you need is a pair of good sports shoes. Jogging is quite beneficial in that:
• It will boost your metabolism
• Increase your body fitness and endurance
• Help you lose extra body fat
• Gets you out into the fresh air
• Can be performed almost anywhere
It is one of the quickest ways to achieve any desired body shape, but you will have to take slow progress on the amount of distance you cover since jogging is hard on your knees. It is not advisable to increase distance and speed at the same time, first concentrate on the distance, and you can work on the speed later on.
Always start off slowly and then increase your distance. You may prefer to do a mixture of short runs with a fast walk at first. Investing in a good pair of running shoes is key to preventing any injuries from occurring.
For those who might find jogging a bit too intense, it is advisable to opt for a walking exercise. Not only is walking easy to handle and maintain, but also a better alternative for weight loss than even running. Walking is safe since the probability of getting injured is minimal, and it is also a great way to socialize as you can get friends to join you without a problem.
Many communities have their own walking clubs and you can even join in Mall walking too! Perfect for moms with young children and seniors. Plus walking at your local Mall can be done regardless of the weather. It’s a great way to get your daily exercise in while connecting with friends.
Well, riding a bike is considered the best cardiovascular workout plus it is a whole lot of fun. You don’t have to schedule an exercise plan for riding a bike since you can simply do that in the morning as you head to work and in the evening as you go back home. It helps in burning massive amounts of calories and keeping your body flexible. If you engage in a form of competition with a friend, it will prove to be very motivational.
In addition to riding your bike outside, you have other options too. These include taking spinning classes, joining a mountain biking club or working out on a stationary bike at home. You can also buy a stationary bike frame for your outside bike that allows you to ride inside during the winter months. This way you are still riding your favorite bike indoors!
This is the perfect form of exercise you can engage yourself in for low impact and high results. It effectively burns hundreds of calories without you using too much of your energy. Incorporate various swimming strokes to give your body more flexibility as well as get yourself a new challenge to master.
Swimming is also recommended by doctors for seniors and those with back and joint injuries. It is easy on your joints and allows you to get your flexibility back.
Many communities have all kinds of swimming classes including Aqua Fit, Aqua Jogging, Senior and Moms and Toddler classes. Ask at your local pool for a list of classes available in your area.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO GET STARTED
Anytime you are planning to engage in an exercise or workout routine, there are various safety and comfort items that you may need to obtain, so as to make the best of your exercises. These items will also include gym tools and weights, along with swimming goggles, sweatbands, yoga mats, and others.
With these simple items, you don’t require an expensive gym subscription to get started with exercising regularly. Using the proper equipment will increase your enjoyment of your chosen sport. Plus your morale will be enhanced, as well as helping you attain your workout goals.
These workout goals will be different for everyone. Whether you are aiming to lose weight, gain strength or toning your body. Here are some of the crucial and necessary equipment required. Please note that items will differ in cost depending upon the activity you are pursuing.
There are lots of clothes designed for exercise and workout purposes. However, you must choose the clothing depending on the exercise you are engaged with. Gym wear includes all types of clothing from tops, shorts, tracksuits and shoes.
These clothes are designed in a way that they are light on the user as well as ensure that they are supportive and comfortable. Sneakers provide both stability and protection. Go for clothes that are designed with durable, lightweight material to withstand wear and tear from the vigorous exercise.
Weights are crucial for building body muscles and adding strength to your body. Ensure that you purchase or have access to light weights for full body workout and avoid imbalance by using just a single set of weights. Some of the must-have training weights include dumbbells.
Commonly referred to as hand weights, dumbbells are great for sculpting and building body muscle. A light pair of about 3 to 5 pounds is enough for a beginner, and you can increase the weight after your strength improves. To save money you can often purchase a set of dumbbells with varying weights. These will cover you as you progress from beginner to the intermediate stage.
Resistance bands are crucial for beginners as well as advanced exercisers too. Exercise bands come in different resistance levels and colors. You choose one depending on the moves you are capable of handling as well as your body flexibility.
Rubberized bands assist in muscle building and general body fitness. They are also easy to use, lightweight and portable. If you tend to travel for business then exercise bands are a great choice. You will find some that have handles along with those that don’t. Pilates’ bands are a little different as they are thicker in size and tend to be shorter in length.
The yoga mat is a home workout must-have piece of equipment. This particular mat is not just for yoga but can be incorporated in other various exercises such as floor workouts, stretches, abs workouts, and warm-ups. A rubber mat provides a firm grip on your feet ensuring stability and prevent sliding, making it safe and comfortable to carry out your workout and yoga exercises. They come in various colors and designs.
Even if you join a yoga class you may still prefer to purchase your own yoga mat. They can easily be rolled up and come with Velcro closures and easy to grip carry handle.
Stability balls can be used for a number of home exercises including abs workouts and stretches. They are a perfect way to do balance exercises and full body workouts. In conjunction with dumbbells, they can supplement a weight bench and add the challenge of body balance to the picture. Anytime you sit or lie across an exercise ball, you engage all muscles of your core to attain support and this will help you attain a well-toned body, well-defined abs and a healthy spine.
If you sit on the computer all day you can improve your posture by using a stability ball as your chair. It takes a little getting used to but works well.
BASIC TRAINING ROUTINE
An exercise program or training routine offers you a structured and healthy way to go about your day-to-day exercises. It is important to follow a routine religiously rather than abruptly making changes since the body needs time to adjust to the changes made. As you begin any type of exercise, here are some guidelines to keep in mind with a training program.
What to Eat Before/After a Workout
As you gear up for a training session, carbs are definitely your best foods to consider consuming. Have a mix of both complex and simple carbs so that while you exercise there will be a slow and steady release of energy.
You can consider going for whole wheat toast as well as fruits since they are easy to digest, and they provide you with both types of carbs. Yogurt is also a great source of energy. Nuts will help keep insulin levels from dropping as you exercise.
After the exercise, you require a nutrient dense dish, particularly proteins and carbohydrates. A grilled chicken breast mixed with vegetables is your best option since it will fill you up without you feeling bloated. Eggs are also an important bodybuilding and muscle recovery meal. You may want to carry a couple of hard-boiled eggs with you just for this purpose. Protein shakes are also useful as a workout snack, especially if you don’t have time to stop for lunch or carry anything substantial with you.
Warming Up and Cooling Down
Before you commence on any workout, consider warming up first. Exercising after warming up will help prevent injuries and muscle soreness the next day.
A pre-exercise warm-up is beneficial to the body in that it increases blood flow to your muscles. This increased blood flow helps to enhance the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues. Warming up your muscles also increases the energy-releasing reaction, which makes the muscles more supple thus preparing them for stretching.
To begin a warm-up, engage in light and low-intensity physical exercise for 5 minutes. This includes jogging on the spot, walking or cycling. Also, make large controlled circular movements with your arms and pump your arms to help the upper body muscles.
After this, you can undertake a light static stretch of the particular muscles that you aim to work out on that session; if you feel discomfort do away with the stretch for the time being, but try to add it in as soon as possible.
After exercising, cooling down is also crucial. This helps your breathing and heart rate return to resting levels. It also helps you avoid dizziness or fainting, removes waste products such as lactic acid and sweat disseminated from the muscles, and also prepares your muscles for the next session. For an effective cooling routine, perform slow exercises for 5 minutes and then a stretching routine.
For a beginner, drinking water during a workout is very essential. Your body requires an adequate supply of water as you exercise since dehydration can hinder you acquiring the best results out of your workouts. In fact, too much loss of water during exercise with no replacement poses a great health risk. So when should you drink water? I to 2 hours before exercising drink 15 to 20 ounces of water; also drink 8 to 10 ounces 15 minutes before starting the workout and 8 ounces after every 15 minutes during your workout and 8 ounces within 30 minutes after the workout.
STAYING MOTIVATED AND STICKING WITH YOUR ROUTINE
Training and workouts are definitely no friends of a beginner. It is quite easy writing down a training program or obtaining one online and swearing to yourself how dedicated you will be when it comes to hitting the gym. However, after a few days, you start skipping sessions, and before you know it, a month is gone without you doing any exercise. This is all about motivation. Here are some ways to boost your morale and ensure that you stick to the gym or the exercise program you wrote down.
Set a Goal
You should have clear goals of why you are exercising. They don’t have to be too big but could even include you working towards fitting into that bikini for summer time. You can also set a goal of losing some pounds or gaining some muscle or defining six pack abs. Whatever you are after, ensure that you work towards it. As you exercise, set the bar very low so that you can easily build your way up. If you can’t manage 30 minutes daily, don’t stress yourself, pick the best you can and when tired, take a rest.
Workout with Friends
Exercising alone is not only boring but also tiring. You will realize that when working with a friend, you will gain extra strength and morale to cover more exercises than when working out alone. It’s harder to quit a jog when you’re with a friend than it is when you are alone.
When it comes to weightlifting, a friend will assist you and psyche you up to finish your set, which will keep you motivated. However, avoid anyone who will de-motivate you by lifting heavier weights than you can manage.
Start Slowly and Learn to Love the Exercises
Avoid going for the heavy weight and tiring workouts. Go for the light exercises that are fun and motivating. You can consider lifting light dumbbells, running on the treadmill at a slow pace or even skipping rope. These are fun activities that will make you want to come back to the gym or do the exercise over and over again at home.
Exercises are very important for general body building and maintenance. Any beginner should find a detailed and well-planned program to see to it that he or she achieves their desired results. Getting started with exercises not only requires determination but also needs advice, research, help and motivation from other parties including friends, trainers and guides. Consider involving yourself with people who are already into training and workouts, as well as sitting down with experts, for you to make the best out of your exercises.
Many fitness clubs and gyms offer a free fitness assessment. It may be worthwhile to sign up for this. This way you will know what your current fitness level is like and what type of exercises the trainer recommends for you. You may want to even join and take a few classes first. This is a great way to learn how to do the exercises correctly, while under the guidance of a professional trainer.
Always remember to start off slowly, to prevent injury, and then increase your distance or speed. Plus there is nothing wrong in trying out lots of different exercises. This helps you stay motivated to exercise and combats any boredom from doing the same routine day in and day out.
Have fun, stay motivated and feel free to share your success!