Many people want to lead long and happy lives, and regular exercise is absolutely essential for this. Studies have shown that those who do just small amounts of exercise per day are at a lower risk of major illnesses like heart disease and cancer when compared to people who do almost no exercise at all.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that many people want to make fitness a bigger part of their lives, but when you’re just starting out, the idea of spending hours in the gym or totally transforming your diet might seem quite intimidating. Fortunately, getting started with fitness doesn’t have to be a big challenge. You can start off slow and build up from there, and here are some top tips for beginners.
Identify Your Goals
One of the biggest issues people tend to experience when trying to get in shape is maintaining their levels of motivation. Often, you might start off feeling excited and energetic, but your enthusiasm can vanish within weeks if you don’t have clear goals to aim for.
Having some targets will help you push on through each workout and stay motivated, so try to always think about why you’re working out, what sort of body you want to have, why you want to be healthy and in shape, and so on.
Start Off Slow
As stated earlier, there’s no need to dive right in and worry about long sessions in the gym or extended home workouts right away. You might not have time for those lengthy exercise sessions in any case, and there’s nothing wrong with starting off slow.
You can try just half-hour workouts, two to three times per week to get started, and then try to build up from there. Even fitting in a rapid 10-minute workout during your lunch break or before bed is much better than doing nothing at all.
Share the Experience
There’s nothing wrong with working out alone. It can be a great way to connect with yourself, but many people find that they struggle with motivation when working out solo and tend to push themselves, even more, when other people are present.
So you might want to consider finding a workout buddy or heading to actual classes and fitness studios so you can feel like part of a group effort. Having other people around you all working hard and pushing for the same goals can be very inspiring.
Make it Fun
The key to keeping up with your workouts and maintaining your fitness regime is enjoying it. If you enjoy exercising, you’ll obviously want to do more of it, but if it feels like a chore, you’ll quickly get bored of it.
With this in mind, try to choose exercises you enjoy. If you like connecting with nature, consider riding your bike around local trails, or if you love music, make sure to prepare a playlist of your favorite tunes to listen to while you lift weights or hit the treadmill.
Shake it Up
Another good method for keeping your workouts engaging and enjoyable is to shake them up from time to time, trying new things, different movements, and fresh exercises on a regular basis, rather than simply doing the same routine over and over.
Not only is it boring to do the same workout multiple times, it’s also not the best option for your body. Your muscles won’t need to work as hard doing the same familiar movements, but if you surprise your body with different exercises, you’ll get better results.
Be Safe When Using Equipment
It’s important to consider your own health and safety when visiting locations like gyms, fitness studios, and so on. There’s often a lot of equipment in these places, and if you happen to misuse any of that equipment, you could find yourself with a serious injury.
There are even situations where people can have to contact lawyers and get embroiled in legal cases due to getting injured at gyms and having to make insurance claims, and so on. Try to avoid any of that unnecessary drama by following the instructions and sticking to the rules.
Some people start working out and get frustrated when they don’t see big results after the first week. You have to understand and acknowledge the fact that fitness is a lifelong journey; it’s not just something you can turn on whenever you feel like it.
If you want to get real results, you’ll need to be patient, putting in the time and effort to hit your targets and not giving up if the results aren’t as rapid as you hoped for. Keep at it, doing whatever you need to do to stay motivated through the ups and the downs of your own workout journey.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
When you first start working out, you might be so motivated that you really want to push your body and see what you can do, always trying for that extra rep or forcing yourself to stay on the treadmill or exercise bike for another few minutes.
While this kind of attitude is admirable, it’s important to not let yourself get carried away. Pushing yourself is a good thing, but pushing yourself too far can lead to injuries. If you feel real aches and pains in your body, especially around joints and ligaments, it’s time to stop and give your muscles a chance to rest.
Get the Right Gear
In order to enjoy your workouts and get the best results from every session, you’ll need to make sure you feel comfortable. This is why it’s so important and so widely-recommended for fitness enthusiasts to invest in quality gear when first starting out.
You’ll need some good quality footwear, for example, to absorb pressure and allow you to move, jog, and jump as freely as possible, and it’s wise to buy some quality fitness clothes too that can keep you cool and fresh even as you work up a sweat.
If you’re ready to start getting fitter, these tips should help you get off to the best possible start. Remember to push yourself, but also to pace yourself to avoid any injuries, and most importantly of all, find a form of exercise you really love.