Beginner’s Guide to Working Out

*By: Christi Shingara*

Photo:  Karolina Grabowska 

If exercising has never been part of your daily life, starting a routine can certainly be intimidating. There are millions of exercise programs, videos, and apps to get into shape, but where do you start?

Why Do You Want to Start Working Out?

Ask yourself…Why do I want to start a workout routine? There could be a number of reasons such as weigh loss, health reasons or to alleviate stress. Exercise not only helps with all those things but also increases energy, boosts mental health and helps you sleep better. Motivation is the key to keeping up with an exercise routine, so really think about why you are doing this, and if it is just “for you,” that is the best reason there is!

Baby Steps

Exercise doesn’t have to be for long durations or grueling to see benefits. I am convinced a lot of people don’t want to workout because they dread the thought of it. If you have never exercised before, it’s best to start out slowly and build up your routine. This might mean taking a walk for 20-minutes a few days a week, or start out with a 10-minute workout and build up eventually to a 30-minute one. It is also best to exercise in this way to gradually build your endurance. Once you feel you aren’t challenged anymore, then it is time to change up your routine and make it a little more difficult. That could mean longer workouts, heavier weights or a different type of workout such as yoga, pilates, HIIT (high intensity interval training), etc. Check out this 10 minute workout.

Time of Day

I have exercised during different times of the day and found I’m at my best first thing in the morning. In the afternoon, I am sluggish and in the evening after work, I have no energy. In order to stay on track, working out in the morning is a great way to start my day and get done before the day’s responsibilities get in the way. That doesn’t mean it works for everyone, especially if you aren’t a morning person. Once you figure out what time works best for you, it is more likely you will stay with your routine.

Make a Schedule

Create a schedule to help you stay on task. Think about how long you want to workout and what kind of exercises you want to do. You might chose a schedule that incorporates cardio on M-W-F and strength training on Tu-Th. Stretching exercises should ultimately be done before and after any type of workout. It is good idea to keep things interesting and change up your workouts incorporating strength training, cardio and stretching. You can check out this workout plan from POPSUGAR Fitness to get you started.

Listen to Your Body

Starting an exercise routine may cause some premature soreness in muscles that are not used to being worked. This is good, however if you notice aches and pains that might be caused from overdoing it, then it is time to slow down and listen to your body. Also, be mindful that you are doing new exercises correctly as you don’t want to injure yourself.

Have a great workout plan? Share it with us in the comments below!

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