1 in 4 adults will not reach the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Even with improved health and fitness having reported benefits of lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke, many people struggle to find where to start. Here you will find the steps you need to begin torching calories for weight loss, shedding unwanted weight, and just having more energy for your day.
Start with Your Goals in Mind
Even as a beginner, it’s possible to create the ideal exercise routine. With a clear plan for approaching your goals, you won’t end up spinning your wheels. Set your sights correctly and avoid anything that is unsustainable for you. 73% of people surveyed in one 2012 study ended up leaving their goals behind. You can stick to your strength training or weight loss goals with a well-thought-out plan.
Get specific about where you would like to see improvement. Some examples are a faster 1-mile run time, or maybe you want to build enough strength to curl a 35 lb dumbbell. Maybe getting into your latest outfit is more your speed. Whatever your goal, have a clear sense of how you want to achieve it. Visualize how it will look so you can measure your progress and stay enthusiastic and motivated.
Your current condition, be it health or just fitness-related, is going to be something to consider when you decide your goals. Have you been told by a professional that you have tight ankles? Think about incorporating mobility exercises to touch on some of your challenging points.
Cardio and strength training are powerful if you are looking for weight loss and improved muscle tone. If muscle gain is for you, then choose heavier resistance at lower reps to build mass.
Make Consistency a Planned Event
What is the time of day you should work out? The answer is: whenever YOUR schedule permits. Yes, you may want to avoid that pre-workout cup of coffee on the days you want to have evening workouts.
Know that being consistent drives results. A sustainable frequency is vital.
Assess your current lifestyle and be realistic about how many times per week you can exercise. Think of this as the frequency piece. It is one of the essential elements to consider, and even the grueling workouts only once per week can’t replace consistency.
Determine how long you can work out at one time. This work length is the duration element that you can consider. With less experience, this does NOT need to be a marathon effort. The ideals to reach would be consistency, intensity, and frequency. These strategies will go a long way if you identify your schedule and stick to it. If you find the planning a bit challenging, examine recruiting the help of a trainer to get on the right track. Remember to seek medical advice when necessary.
You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have
Plan your rest days and set the structure that works for you. Beginners can see great results from 20-30 minutes per day when doing more efficient workouts.
Take the number of days from your earlier frequency assessment. If you have five days to work out in the week, plan to give yourself ample time between workouts. You might find you need more rest. Take the rest your body needs to recover.
Once you have figured out your training plan, you may find that you only need one full day dedicated to rest. The other days could become active rest days where you do light activities like taking a nice walk. Jogging and walking are some of the most popular forms of exercise. These low-intensity cardio exercises can give lasting results. These exercises also allow you to control the level of difficulty by changing the speed and/or distance.
You Have Your Schedule, Now You Need an Approach
To choose the best scheme for reps, sets, and rest, you will need to evaluate how you feel after putting your initial plan into action. Sets are the rounds of an exercise. Reps are the number of repetitive movements within that round.
You may want to try three sets of ten exercise movements and then rest for two minutes between each set. This may be a good start for beginners. For example, if you did two sets of five pushups, that would be one round of pushups. Then you would take a rest period before repeating another round of 5 pushups to finish off your round of pushups.
Incorporate a variety of movements and choose specific body parts to work on different days. Consider a split like this:
Work pushing muscle groups on Monday with three warmup sets of 10 reps of pushups. Rest, and then using any size dumbbells you may want to do three sets of ten reps of standing overhead presses. With a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing inward towards you, and at shoulder height, raise your arms up overhead and then return them to the starting position. This movement is one rep. You may want to incorporate more exercises like this. Remember to take it slow and if it is hard to lift the dumbbells up then change the weight to a lesser amount. Start slowly and don’t reach for a dumbbell that is too heavy. If lifting the weight over your head is too arduous, then start with your hands down and lift as high as you can without straining yourself. You must start slowly. Do not rush the levels of your abilities.
Use the same approach that includes a warmup of simple movements of the body parts you are working on, using moderate weight and reps. Do this with exercises like lunges, where you will lunge alternating legs. Touch the knee of your rear foot to the ground, and then lunge with the opposite leg. Squats are also excellent because they recruit multiple muscles. You can stand with feet shoulder-width apart, bend at the hips slightly as you unlock your knees, then slowly and under control lower yourself until your bottom is parallel with your knees. Return to standing, and you’ve completed one rep.
Wednesday is a rest day. On Thursday you can work on those legs. Friday, you’ll perform a full-body workout with low resistance, and on Saturday, enjoy a nice hike or low-intensity exercise like the stair climber. Take a full day to rest on Sunday. Remember to take it slowly. These are just suggestions to get you started. When you get tired rest and build to more reps when you can.
Building endurance so your muscles can do more work for longer periods of time, will involve targeting higher rep counts (10-15 reps) with lighter weights and less rest (30 – 60 seconds). Even without using heavy weights, simply moving your body is part of a successful routine. Add in some resistance training for variety. Always check with your doctor to make sure you are not overworking yourself.
Stay patient to avoid injury and remain dedicated to your plan. Increasing the weight safely and doing cardio work for longer durations will create lasting results. Your body is the most significant investment you will make to take you into the future. Make the best choices for your exercise routine. Consider the help of a trainer and a medical physician to assess your goals