Fitness 101: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Exercise
With the wealth of information that the modern day person has at their disposal, it’s now obvious more than ever: regular exercise is necessary to stay healthy. Not only can it improve your cardiovascular system and reduce the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and depression, but it can also trim your waist and give you the toned, sexy body of your dreams. If you’re a beginner and have no idea where to start, here’s a handy little guide that will teach you the basics and help you become fit and healthy.
Pick the right workout
Do you know what the best kind of workout is? The one you can stick to. Beginners usually get into everything with incredible enthusiasm that tends to dwindle very fast because they simply take on too much. It’s understandable you want results, but exercise is a lifestyle change and you shouldn’t try to commit to something if it takes a lot of effort to fit it into your regular schedule.
It’s also a bad idea to do something you hate—just because running is your best friend’s favorite activity, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. So, choose the kind of workout that you enjoy, and make it simple. Don’t commit to going to the gym that’s halfway across the town just because you heard it’s good, and don’t promise you’ll exercise every single day for a whole hour. A 20-minute home workout that you can quickly finish in the morning is going to be a lot more effective than that, simply because you’re more likely to stick to it. Once you get going and find your fitness mojo, you can go for a bigger challenge.
Grab some gear
You don’t need much to start. Exercising is available to everyone, and as long as you’ve got comfy clothes, you’re ready to do it. A pair of high-quality sneakers with proper arch support is recommended, so get yourself a pair of cool Nike shoes and they’ll keep your feet and your posture safe. Other than that, it’s not a bad idea to invest in workout clothes that you find attractive. A sleek pair of Adidas leggings or a cute Ivy Park hoodie are the kind of things that can really motivate you to keep going because they make you look and feel good. Beginners can start without specialized gym gear, but if you like, you can grab a jumping rope and a set of light dumbbells.
Always start with a warm-up
Non-negotiable. You have to warm up every single time if you want to keep your muscles and joints safe and have more stamina during the workout. Some good ways to get your blood pumping are jumping jacks, high-knees, skipping rope, and going for a short run. After that, you can do shoulder, arm, knee, and hip rotations to get more mobility.
Combine both weight lifting and cardio
While cardio is recommended for those who want to burn a lot of calories, weight lifting will give you strength and muscle definition. Strong muscles burn fat faster and can give your body a wonderfully toned look, so feel free to incorporate it into your routine.
End it with stretching
Again, non-negotiable. Stretching will help prevent soreness and keep you flexible, and it will minimize the chance of injury. Check out these instructions if you want to know all the ways in which you can go about it. Take it slow and relax slowly as you stretch your limbs and finish up your workout.
Even more tips to stay consistent
If you’re feeling really lazy and tired, tell yourself that you only have to exercise for five minutes. Get up, put your sneakers on, and get through the first five minutes of your routine. If you end up feeling motivated to actually finish it, that’s great. If you don’t, you’ll still have done something, and that’s infinitely better than doing nothing. You can also motivate yourself by taking selfies of your progress, and by rewarding your own consistency with small things. It’s also not a bad idea to keep a written journal and schedule your workouts in a calendar. This will make the whole thing look like an actual plan rather than an abstract idea.
As long as you take it easy and learn to love the whole process rather than only the goal itself, you can become fit. Remember that you’re taking steps to improve your life, and that’s quite a brave thing to do. Be proud of yourself, and enjoy it!