Get Ready to Get Fit
With 2017 coming to a close, a lot of us will be setting goals and looking to accomplish new things in 2018. Among them, losing weight and getting healthy seem to be at the top of most people’s New Year’s resolutions. Whether you want to lose 5-10 pounds of “holiday weight” that has been hanging around since Thanksgiving, or if you’d love to lose even more and be the healthiest you that you can be, it’s important to pace yourself and not risk injury by overexerting yourself from the get-go- especially if it’s been a while since you’ve worked out. To prevent that, here are some workout tips and tricks from everydayhealth.com to get you started on your journey towards a fit and healthy life.
5 Workout Tips for Beginners:
Tip #1: Start Slow
If you are new to working out, or it’s been longer than 1 month, don’t just jump right in and start exercising five days a week- that is a recipe for disaster! It’s better that you gradually work up to exercising several days per week while you see how your body responds. Start with 2-3 days per week, for at least 30 minutes per day. After a few weeks, your strength and endurance will improve, and you will be able to longer and more frequently (4-6 days per week!).
Tip #2: Know When to Stretch
Stretching right before a workout may seem like the best thing to do, but you might be putting yourself at risk of injury. After you warm up, you should stretch your muscles and hold it for about 15 seconds. You are less likely to injure yourself when you’re stretching if your muscles are already a little warmed up. Also, stretching for 5 minutes after your workout if a great way to cool down and prepare your muscles for rest.
Tip #3: Mix it Up
Doing the same exact workout every day can not only get boring, but you won’t get results as fast because you are training the same muscles in the same way every time and no variation = no change. Whether you’re going for weight loss of bulking up, a mixed regimen of cardio and strength training is the best way to achieve the body you want. It’s also important to do a workout routine that you enjoy! The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to stick with it.
I love doing different workouts throughout the week. Maybe one day I’ll go my favorite Yoga Sculpt class at CorePower Yoga, the next day I’ll run a few miles outside, and the next day I’ll check out a spinning class. Insider Tip: I always look for deals on Groupon when I want to try a new fitness studio! On days when I don’t have time to go to a fitness studio, I can always pop in one of my favorite workout DVDs like T25– just 25 minutes and I’m done!
Customize your workouts for you! For example, if you love biking, try adding a spin class once or twice a week instead of your regular workout. Or if you love to swim, replace one workout a week with swimming laps in an indoor pool. This way, you are adding variety (good for your muscles!) and staying motivated with activities that you like.
Tip #4: Know Your Weight and the Right Way to Use it
Most people are confused the first time they walk into a gym- it can be overwhelming! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Gyms, by law, have to have people who can help show you how to work out on the machines, which can save you from injuring yourself.
When starting on a new machine, set the pin at the lowest weight, try it out, and then keep adding on from there. You should be able to do about 12 reps fairly easily. If it is too difficult or you are straining to complete 12 reps, lower the weight. Stick with the weight you are comfortable with, and don’t get too eager to increase it. You should not increase it more than 10 percent in a week, or your risk of injury increases exponentially.
Tip #5: Know When to Take a Break
When people start out, they are often overzealous and try to get to the gym every day. However, by not letting your body rest, you can be doing much more harm than good. If you don’t give your body time to heal and repair itself, your performance will go down. If you’re sore after a workout, that is good- unless it hurts too much or you have an injury, in which case you might need to take a longer break or see your doctor. But it is generally normal to have pain and soreness after exercise- you have likely used muscles you haven’t used in a while! Stretch and let yourself recover naturally, and by the third day, you will be ready to go and stronger than before!
Want to GET FIT in 2018 but don’t know where to start? There are so many FREE workouts available online, whether it’s a 5 minute Facebook video that pops up in your Newsfeed, or a total body yoga class on YouTube. Or do what I do and search Groupon for some great deals at local fitness studios- I always see Pilates, spinning, barre and yoga classes on there! And if you go to a few classes and decide it’s not for you, since you didn’t commit for a full membership, you can easily find something else you do like.
Do you have any workout tips you’d like to share? Tell me in the comments below!