Getting Started: Tips For A New Fitness Routine
It’s common knowledge that getting active is the key to an overall healthier lifestyle.
The benefits of being fit include feeling great, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, weight loss, satisfaction of achieving your goals, weight maintenance, stress relief, increased lean muscle mass, and increased metabolic rate.
Follow these tips on how to get started and how to build and sustain a successful fitness routine.
Do: Listen To Your Body
Pay attention to your muscles, bones, and joints. If you’re in pain after a workout, take a rest day. Feeling great the day after? Step it up a bit.
Don’t: Set Unrealistic Goals
Unachievable goals (ex: losing 20 lbs in 2 weeks or running a marathon in a month) can breed doubt and quickly derail a new fitness plan. Start with small, simple milestones like ‘workout 3 times a week’ or ‘jog 2 miles.’
Do: Keep A Fitness Journal
Putting your routine on paper (or into a fitness app) helps keep you motivated. Keep track of workout dates and times and record weekly goals and track progress.
Don’t: Make Excuses
Lack of time or being “too busy” is the leading cause of skipped workouts. Build a schedule and plan that works for you! Dedicate 30 minutes to yourself in the morning for a brisk walk or make better use of a lunch break by getting in a quick gym session or yoga class. It isn’t about having the time, it’s about making the time.
Do: Strengthen Your Core
A strong core builds coordination, balance, and helps prevents injuries. Mix some core strengthening exercises like planks, side planks, medicine ball twists, and yoga ball work into your fitness routine.
Don’t: Forget To Hydrate
Dehydrated muscles are more prone to cramping and fatigue. They also tend to tighten up which can lead to tears. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. Strive for 2-3 liters per day.
Do: Allow Time For Rest And Recovery
A common mistake made with a new fitness routine is piling workout on top of workout in hopes of expediting results. Muscles need time to rest and recover. Start slowly and build up endurance and frequency.
Don’t: Go Too Hard, Too Fast, Or Too Long
For the fitness newbie, doing too much, too quickly, for too long can cause burn out extremely quickly – which leads to a failed routine. Set speed, distance, weight, and time limits and hold yourself to them.
Do: Walk Whenever Possible
The simple act of taking more steps throughout the day can lead to some pretty incredible results. Skip the elevator, take the stairs, walk to the park, bike to work, choose the furthest spot in the parking lot, or take the dog for a quick walk around the block.
Don’t: Neglect Your Body
A new fitness routine is a great way to keep your body in shape but don’t overlook the fact that it also needs some TLC. Treat yourself to a massage, stretching, gentle yoga, or foam rolling.