Hello everyone! Happy Sunday! I’m so sorry for the delay in posting; I had a pretty tough week last week. But this week is off to a much better start, and I am super excited to share today’s post with you! This post is for all of you that have decided to start working out, but might be feeling a bit overwhelmed at where to begin. There is so much information out there nowadays on exercise that it can be hard to narrow down what is going to work best for you. This post will give you some ideas on where to start and how; the goal is to help you feel a little less overwhelmed so that you can actually enjoy your workouts and be able to stick to the new routine that you’ve started to develop.
Disclaimer: Consult a medical professional before starting a new exercise routine. Exercise is not without its risks and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. As with any exercise program, if at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy or have physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult a medical professional.
1. Write down your fitness goals, and how you plan on achieving them
Writing down your goals will help you figure out what kind of exercise is best for you. Why are you adding fitness into your routine? What will change by adding fitness into your life? How are you going to include fitness into your lifestyle? These are very important questions that you’ll need to know the answer to if you want to be able to stick to this new routine. Once you’ve identified the why, what, and how, it will be much easier to just go for it.
2. Start out with short workouts, about 3 times a week
Start off slow; if you try to start off with 1 hour workouts 5 times a week, you’re going to burn yourself out and not be able to continue with the new routine. Instead, aim for shorter workouts, 3 times a week; this will help you slowly break your body into working out, and it’s an easier goal to aim for. If you end up doing more, then that’s great! But if you aim too high and then miss your goal, it won’t make you feel very good, and you’ll be less motivated to continue.
3. Consistency over Intensity
At first, it’s definitely better to prioritize being consistent over an intense workout. It’s going to be much better if you are showing up 3 times a week for 30 minutes and hitting a low to moderate-intensity workout, than showing up once a week for 2 hours and burning yourself out. Building the habit and seeing long-term results is the goal, and being inconsistent is not going to be very beneficial in helping you achieve that goal. It’s also going to help you prevent injuries by starting off slow and gradually getting more intense with your workouts. Pushing yourself is important, but only to the point your body can handle. Because you’re new to working out, you might not know how to tell when your body is saying it’s had enough, so starting off slow and learning your body is much more important than being super intense from the beginning.
4. Have a workout buddy
Having friends, family, and coworkers to work out with will help you make working out become a habit. On the days you need a bit of motivation to get your butt to the gym, a workout buddy can be just the push you need. It’s a lot harder to not go when you know you’d be letting someone else down as well. Plus, buddy workouts can help bring out your competitive side, which can help with getting a more intense workout!
5. Invest in a good pair of shoes
I know it can be hard to swallow spending $150 on a pair of shoes, but I promise you it is so worth it! Your knees, hips, and feet will be thanking you for the investment. They’ll also be more durable than your typical $50 dollar shoe and therefore last longer, which will make the price tag a bit more worth it. For running, I really recommend the brands Hoka One One and Brooks. For weight lifting, aim for a flat shoe, like Converse or Vans. This will help keep the weight distribution even all across your muscles, and also help you stay balanced when lifting heavy weights.
6. Don’t skip your warm-up or cool-down
Warming up and cooling down are essential for keeping your muscles happy, especially when you’ve just started a new workout routine. Your muscles are being challenged in ways they aren’t used to, which means they are going to be sore and uncomfortable for the next few days after your workout. Warming up before will help you prevent injuries while also helping with recovery time, and cooling down will mostly help with recovery time. Working out is great for your body, but there are always things you can do to make it a more pleasurable experience, and warm ups and cool downs are some of those things.
7. Master the basics first
Keeping your movements simple at first will help you get familiar with how your body moves, and will also help you get a good feel of what works and what doesn’t. A lot of the time people start off by trying these fancy, trendy workouts, only to stop because it feels awkward or because you’re not getting the results you want. Mastering the basics will help with feeling more coordinated when you do start to try the more complex movements. Also, by focusing on the basics, you won’t feel so overwhelmed when you first start a new routine. Some basic movements you can start with are squats, lunges, rows, and chest press; these are great foundational exercises that will be key in some of the fancier moves you’ll eventually try.
8. Don’t compare your journey to others
It’s okay to feel awkward and silly when you first start working out, but you can’t let it deter you. With every workout you’ll get better and better, and the movements will become less awkward. Remember that the goal is progress, not perfection. Allow yourself to mess up without judging yourself. And in a group setting, don’t compare yourself to anyone else in the room. Others may look more natural in their movements, or be lifting a lot more weight, but they were beginners at some point, too. This is your journey, and you’re here because you want to make changes to your life. Don’t let feeling awkward keep you from doing that.
9. Set athletic goals, like being able to do push-ups on your toes
Set something other than an aesthetic goal, like being able to squat with a certain amount of weight, or being able to run a certain distance. It can even be as simple as being able to do push-ups on your toes instead of on your knees. Aesthetic goals are fleeting, and because it takes a while to see results, you won’t stay motivated on that goal alone. Plus, athletic goals keep the gym interesting and help you push yourself, which will help you feel more accomplished after each session.
10. Fuel your body properly
Working out is challenging for your body, and therefore causes it to expend a lot of energy; this means that you will need to start fueling your body with enough nutrients that it will be able to sustain this new routine. Drinking plenty of water and having a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein are all going to make your new workout routine more enjoyable and sustainable.
That’s all I have for you today folks! Let me know what you think in the comment section below, and be sure to subscribe to the blog if you want to see more posts like this! Thank you all so much for reading! Have a great week!
Featured image is by John Fornander via Unsplash,com.