How Do I Start Working Out? A Beginner's Guide
You thought it over, did a bit of personal introspection, and have arrived at a conclusion: you need to start exercising. Moreover, you want to start a serious workout program, not just a few jumping jacks and abdominal crunches. There's only one hitch: you don't know how to begin.
Not a problem! Our beginner's guide to working out has the information you need to get going.
What Have You Got to Gain?
Consider this oft-repeated quote:
"If I had known I was going to live so long, I'd have taken better care of myself."
There is some uncertainty about who exactly said it first — was it Mark Twain? Erma Bombeck? Mickey Mantle? Who said it first isn't relevant; rather, what it says sums up one of the best motivations for starting your workout regimen now. Regardless of your current age, your older self will thank you for taking better care of yourself now.
What do you have to gain by working out? Here are some general benefits you can give to yourself.
- Slow the aging process with exercise. You could see and feel a difference in as little as six months.
- Regular exercise reduces stress and anxiety and helps alleviate symptoms of depression.
- Exercise may add to your lifespan. Studies have shown walking and cycling can reduce mortality rates.
- Exercise helps you lose fat and gain muscle, even when you're over 60.
Those are great benefits, but they won't come overnight or easily.
It's Worth It
Working out gets your blood pumping and works your large muscle groups. The potential benefits far outweigh possible discomfort when you first start. As you keep to your workout plan, you'll find the aches and pains decrease.
You can plan your workout routine to target specific health issues. Here are some of the more specific healthy perks of working out.
- Strengthens the heart muscle
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps regulate blood sugar and stabilize insulin levels
- Can lessen the frequency and severity of asthma attacks
- Reduces chronic pain, especially back pain
- Effective treatment for insomnia
- Aids in weight loss and maintaining stable weight
- Strengthens immune system
- Boosts cognitive function and improves mood
Now that you know working out is a good thing, and you're stoked at the idea of making your own workout schedule, it's time to get started.
Before You Start
The first thing you need to do is evaluate your current overall physical condition. The best place to start is with your primary doctor or other healthcare professional. If you have any major health risks, such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, get medical clearance before beginning your exercise program. Likewise, if you're a male aged 45 or older or a woman aged 55 or older, getting the green light from your doctor is a good idea before you start your workout regimen.
How To Start Working Out
Once you've gotten permission from your healthcare professional, it's time to decide what your workout routine is going to look like. It's time to create your personal plan with clearly defined goals and attainable steps. Here's a list of suggested steps on how to workout to get you started.
- Make your initial plan easy to follow, and then you can build on it as you improve your fitness levels.
- Ask yourself why you've decided to work out, then hone in on a reason that's meaningful to you and will push you to keep moving forward.
- Grab some gear, such as a pair of comfortable athletic shoes that provide good support.
- You'll need a couple of sets of sweat-wicking tops and shorts or pants. Ladies, you'll want a supportive, snug sports bra.
- Start slow, scheduling workouts two or three times a week at times that are convenient for you.
- Try out several types of workouts to find the one that works best for you. If you aren't comfortable choosing, consider a personal trainer who will help tailor a workout specific to your needs.
With your plan in place, your gear together, and your workout schedule ironed out, you're ready to sweat.
Working Out for Beginners at Home
Do you prefer to do your exercise in the privacy of your home but are uncertain about how to workout on your own? Not to worry! You can set up your own workout routine that's effective and enjoyable. Here are some common and simple exercises you can choose from to get started:
- Cycling (stationary bike), jogging (treadmill), and dancing (your favorite dance tunes) are all aerobic exercises that involve constant activity. Start slow with ten-minute sessions.
- Yoga and muscle-stretching exercises improve flexibility.
- Jumps, pushups, pullups, and situps are all examples of medium-speed exercises that don't require gym equipment.
You can get your own free workout plan from Tiger Fitness by answering a few simple questions. Information on working out for beginners, types of workouts at various levels, and articles on how to workout are here for your reading pleasure.
There are certain basics that everyone, regardless of fitness level or how accomplished they are at working out, needs to follow to make certain they're staying on a healthy track. Nailing down these basics gives you a solid foundation on which to build.
- Stay hydrated. Replenish fluids during exercise, especially when working out in hot temperatures. Hydrating after your workout helps you recover.
- Balanced nutrition is your friend. Carbs are vital to fuel your muscles. Proteins improve muscle recovery, repair tissue damage, and build muscle mass.
- Warm up. Start your workout with simple exercises like leg kicks, arm swings, and walking lunges. This prevents injuries and improves your athletic performance.
- Cool down. This can be as simple as light walking after aerobic exercise or stretching following resistance training.
- Listen to your body. It will let you know if you're pushing the boundaries.
Congratulations on your decision to start working out. Take your time to progress through the steps of your fitness plan, and you'll find yourself enjoying the good health that proper fitness brings. For more information on healthy living, visit Tiger Fitness.