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Want to start an exercise routine? Here’s what you need to think about and ask before you get started…
Exercise and movement are important if you want to stay healthy, but if you’re a couch potato or new to working out, then starting an exercise routine can be quite scary.
Many people don’t know what exercises they should be doing, how often they should be working out, or how to do it safely. It’s important that you get professional answers to all of these questions so you can get the results that you want and avoid injuries.
Tips To Get You Started Exercising
Here are four tips for you to start your first exercise routine:
Tip #1: Start slowly
If you are not used to working out, it’s important to start slowly and to get professional advice. If you jump straight into high-intensity workouts 5 times a week, you could end up hurting yourself.
Walking is a great low impact exercise to start with and the good news is that walking has a lot of health benefits. As you get fitter you can build up your workouts from there.
Be sure to take plenty of rest days so your body has time to recover between workouts.
Tip #2: Buy the right workout gear
The right workout gear is important because it enhances your workouts, keeps you safer, is more functional, and looking good is a great motivator.
If you are doing any kind of cardio workout, a good-quality pair of running trainers is vital. They are designed to support your feet and absorb the impact, so you minimize your risk of injury.
Tip #3: Warm up and cool down
You should never skip your warm up before exercise or the cool down after exercising.
If you don’t take the time to warm up your muscles and you go straight into a workout, you could hurt yourself. It’s equally important that you gradually cool down and bring your heart rate down slowly after a workout, so your muscles don’t tighten and cramp.
Visit mayoclinic.org for some great warm up and cool down routines, and make sure to do them every time you exercise.
Tip #4: Eat well
Food feeds the body and gives you the energy you need to exercise and recover after you’ve exercised.
Speak to a trained nutritionist or dietitian to get an eating plan that is right for you. There’s no one size fits all as we need different foods depending on our age, gender, activity level, and other factors.
Questions To Ask Before Choosing A Routine
Here are some of the most important questions you need to ask yourself when planning your first workout:
What is your goal with this exercise routine?
Write down your goal – what you’d like to get from working out. Do you want to run a marathon or just be able to run after the kids and not get out of breath?
Think about what differences you’d like to see and feel over the next few months, then write these down. You can discuss these goals with a qualified trainer, a doctor, or whichever professional you choose to help you develop a workout plan to achieve your goals.
If you don’t have a goal then it will be difficult to stay motivated.
Where will you workout?
You will need to decide where you want to sweat. Do you prefer exercising outdoors or indoors?
Who will you workout with?
This is another important question to answer. Exercising with others can be a great motivator to make every session. Sometimes just arranging a hike with your neighbor or joining a group exercise program can make the choice for us between exercise and Netflix.
Do you feel more comfortable and motivated in a group, with an exercise partner, or doing this alone? Or perhaps you need to hire a personal trainer who will call you if you don’t arrive for that exercise session.
What types of exercise do you like?
Exercise fall into one of three categories:
- High intensity – for example, HIIT workouts or sprinting
- Medium intensity – For example, a brisk walk or a casual swim
- Low intensity – For example, yoga class or a slow walk
Choose an exercise routine that mixes intensities that you like. If you hate running but love yoga and walking, then get an exercise regime that includes medium and low intensity workouts.
Are you inspired to get off the couch and get out there? Great! Let me know in the comments what exercise you choose and what goals you’ve set for yourself!
If you like to track things and you have a bullet journal, then why not create an exercise habit tracker to see how you do over time?