Tuesday, February 5, 2019

How To Start an Exercise Routine


You managed to get out of bed earlier than usual, packed your gym bag, laced up your tennis shoes, and you’re headed out the door. Day one of your New Year’s resolution is down, only 364 more to go! Unfortunately, most people don’t actually make it past the first couple of weeks of exercising before giving up on their New Year’s resolution. But, “what did I do wrong?” you might ask yourself.





The most common mistakes people make when starting a daily exercise routine is that they create goals that are too ambitious and don’t prepare enough. Taking up an exercise routine is a major lifestyle change, and you need to mentally prepare for the reality of a new exercise habit. It’s going to take a toll on your body, especially if you are not used to it. Here are seven tips on how to create and prepare for realistic exercise resolutions.


Start Small
This might be the last thing you want to hear when you are optimistic and full of energy, but hitting the gym aggressively every day your first couple of weeks is the surest way to burn out before the end of the month. Although you might feel proud and energized in the beginning, the increase in exercise will surely take a toll on your body, making it easier to quit the gym.

When you are starting exercise from scratch, starting off with small goals is a sure way to implement a sustainable workout routine in your life. You’ll be surprised by how much progress you can make in the beginning by just scheduling two days a week of exercise. Begin your routine with two days a week for an hour, then kick it up to three, four and so on.

Respect Your Recovery Period
Understand that your body needs time to recover and that this time is fundamental to your progress. When your body is sore from a workout (which it will likely be with a new exercise routine), your muscles are suffering from micro-tears. When you rebuild those fibers, you begin to strengthen and build your muscles, which is why your body needs time to rest and recover. This doesn’t mean you need to shy away from working out if you are sore, but remember to take a day off in between workouts. Remember that the more rested you are before a workout, the more effort you’ll be able to put into the workout.




Have a Gym Partner
Having a support system to hold you accountable each day can make an immense difference in your motivation to exercise. Ask a family member, a close friend or a co-worker to join you in starting an exercise regimen. It’s a lot harder to skip a commitment when someone is waiting for you at the gym. If your schedule doesn’t seem to align with anyone else’s, opt for a group exercise class. You’ll be surprised to see how motivational a sense of community at the gym can be.




Warm Up & Cool Down
Whether you decided to take up running, biking, weightlifting or yoga, your body needs a proper warm-up and cooldown routine. Before you begin your workout, your muscles need to be warmed and elastic. A good way to get your blood flowing is through a 10- to 20-minute warm-up that involves light jogging, stretching, simple body weight exercises or resistance bands to warm up your shoulders, hips and knees.

Once you’ve warmed up, try to refrain from delving into a high-intensity workout. If you’re running outside, slowly build up your speed. If you are weight lifting, don't start lifting heavy right away; warm your way up from 40% to 90% of the weight your body can handle. And once you are done, remember to work your way down. Your body isn’t a high-tech machine with an on/off switch; it needs time to properly warm up and cool down from a workout.

Use the Right Equipment To Prevent Injuries 
This precaution is crucial to staying on track with your New Year’s resolution. If you are prone to muscle injuries because you suffer from weak joints, it is imperative that you use the right equipment to work out. This means using a knee, wrist, foot, ankle or back brace to provide you with proper joint support to avoid injuries.

An injury can be a very discouraging setback if you are new to the gym or are recovering, thus wearing the right support brace can help support your goal while avoiding injuries.

Posture
Poor posture can lead to injuries as well as a poor-quality workout. Educating yourself and finding out how to exercise the right way is only a YouTube search away. This simple step can make a significant impact on the quality of your workouts.

Eat Enough
With an increase in physical activity, your body will crave more nutrients, leading to an overall increase in your appetite. Do not ignore your body since your daily nutrition is key to building a stronger body and making sure you have enough energy to sustain a daily workout. Make sure you are eating enough carbs if you are performing cardio activities and protein if you are performing strength training exercises. It’s also important to remember that your post-workout meals are key to your recovery period. The period of time after a workout is when your body is most receptive to any nutrients you place in it, so it is imperative that those nutrients are beneficial to your exercise goals.


Developing a personal fitness plan can seem daunting, but each tip is crucial to staying on track with your fitness goals. A new exercise routine is no small task, so it is important to take care of your body and nourish it with the nutrients, recovery and support needed to sustain itself.

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