Everybody knows that we should undertake regular exercise, but if you are new to it then you may need some advice on exercise for beginners. Before we start, congratulations on your decision to make exercise a part of your life. You are well on your way to improving your health, maintaining your ideal weight, toning up, living longer and reducing your risk of developing certain diseases and health conditions.
So, for a complete beginners exercise routine, what is your next step?
The first thing you should do, especially if it’s been some time since you last exercised, is to see your doctor and tell him what you intend to do. This is especially important if you already have a health condition. He will no doubt be encouraging and supportive, as the health benefits of exercise are well known, but may want to give you a check over first to be on the safe side.
Decide on what your fitness goals are. Do you want to generally improve your health? Lower your blood pressure? Lose weight? Run a marathon? No matter what your goal is, you should always have something to work towards. If you have a specific goal, you can create a plan to achieve it, and can measure your progress.
Decide what exercises you would prefer to do. Try a few out, or have an introduction at your local gym. You must choose something you enjoy- there is little point in choosing an exercise you hate, just because you think you should be doing it, as you will soon become fed up and your good intentions will fall by the wayside. Some people really enjoy going to the gym and get a lot out of it. Others detest it, but really enjoy country walks or cycling.
Choose an activity or two you feel you will be able to commit to regularly.
Make sure you have the equipment you need; if you are going to start running, you need a good pair of running shoes to avoid injuries. Good, supportive underwear is also essential, especially for ladies.
For cycling you will need to ensure your bike is in safe working order, and you have a helmet, puncture repair kit etc. A sports equipment store should be able to advise you on what you need to buy.
Don’t try to start off too fast- a lot of beginners make the mistake of attempting a long run or decide to use a cardiovascular machine for an hour straight away. It is tempting, as you will be keen to make a start and see the benefits, but it is much better to start slowly and build up.
Trying to do too much too soon can leave you feeling demoralized, and could even cause an injury. Fitness takes time to build up. Don’t expect too much at the beginning.
Aim to push yourself a little bit more each time you exercise. You will soon notice that your routine gets easier as you become fitter, so you will need to constantly adjust it so that you keep improving.
Make sure you take time to warm up and stretch. It’s all too easy not to bother with this. Warming up will increase blood circulation through the body and loosen muscles, preventing them from tearing during exercise.
Stretching before and after exercise will increase oxygen and blood flow to the muscles and prevent muscular tightness.
Build in some rest days. You may be tempted to try to exercise every day, but regular rest days will allow your body chance to repair and strengthen muscles, and adjust to your new regime.
Follow these tips on exercise for beginners and you will soon start to see the benefits of your new lifestyle, and will feel so much fitter and healthier.
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