If you’re planning to start a new fitness journey, congratulations. You’re taking the steps necessary to take control of your health. No matter your fitness goals, you’ll want to make sure your exercise program is not only effective but also safe.
Here are a few tips to getting started with an exercise routine and setting yourself up for success.
Tips For A Successful Fitness Journey: Determine Your Goals
It’s just as important to set realistic goals when starting your fitness journey. Whether you’re embarking on a weight loss journey or you want to increase strength, you need to first have a good idea of your current level of fitness. This will serve as your baseline, making it easier to track your progress and gradually challenge yourself.1
There are many ways you can do this. You could, for example, see how many push-ups you can do at one time, or how long it takes you to walk a mile. Or, you could simply measure the circumference of your waist.
But there are other considerations to keep in mind. What kinds of exercise activities do you like? If you love to dance, for instance, consider taking an aerobics class. Also, determine how much of a financial commitment you’re willing to make. You might need to purchase exercise equipment or join a gym.2
The most important thing when it comes to goals is to keep them realistic. You don’t want to push yourself so hard that you suffer a serious injury. Talk to your doctor or a personal trainer. They can help you set goals that you can attain without risking your health.
Tips For A Successful Fitness Journey: Determine A Workout Plan
One of the first steps in your fitness journey will be to determine how much hard work you need to put in. In general, it’s recommended that adults get about 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week.3
You don’t necessarily need to exercise 30 minutes at a time. According to one study, people who break up their workout sessions into three 10-minute blocks see as much improvement as those who exercise 30 continuous minutes. 4
If you want to follow a more rigorous workout regimen, you might not have to work out as long. Following an intense exercise program for 75 minutes per week is equivalent to 150 minutes of a moderate workout routine.5
Tips For A Successful Fitness Journey: Putting Safety First
No matter what kind of exercise routine you adopt, you want to make sure you do it safely. After all, what good would it do to start a workout regimen if you suffered an injury?
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Before you start your exercise routine, remember to stretch thoroughly. Do this slowly, holding your stretch for 10 seconds or so. You should also be careful when stretching. You don’t want to do it to the point where it’s painful.
- It will also be important to drink plenty of water, both before, during, and after your workout routine. This will not only keep you from getting dehydrated but also prevent heat exhaustion. A good rule of thumb is to drink a pint of water before your workout and another pint after you’ve stopped.
- Warming up properly will be key to avoiding injury. You can do this by rehearsing the types of movements you’ll be making during your particular exercise. If you’re going on a run, for example, jog in place for a few minutes. A good warm-up will loosen your joints and muscles.
- Good equipment will also be important. If you run, make sure your shoes are in good shape. If you workout in warm weather, wear loose clothing. Dress in removable layers when working out in cold weather.
- Be patient. Don’t try to rush through your workout – especially if you’ll be lifting weights. Remember to breathe fully to make sure
your brain has an ample supply of blood.6
Tips For A Successful Fitness Journey: Find A Workout Buddy
An exercise partner might just help you stick to your new workout routine. People who work out together have a better chance of sticking xwith a routine than those who do it on their own. Also, people who partner with those who have healthy workout habits tend to adopt those habits themselves.7
Having a partner, or working with a group of partners, can push you to work harder. This is known as the Köhler Effect. The idea is that no one in the group will want to be the weakest link. As a result, if you work out with people who are fitter than you might be, you’ll work to keep up.8
A Safe And Healthy Weight Loss Journey: Talk With Your Doctor And Keep Them In The Loop
No matter your motivation for working out – whether it’s to lose weight or build muscle – you’ll need to first talk with your doctor. He or she will help you come up with the safest plan for your specific health situation.
If you’re generally in good health and you’re starting off gradually, you probably don’t need to have extensive medical tests performed.9
There’s no reason to be nervous when it comes to starting an exercise program. You’re embracing a healthy lifestyle, and for that, you should be applauded. Just make sure you do it safely.