Everybody knows that physical activity is essential for good health. . . but not everybody knows how to get started with fitness training. Whether you’ve been exercising for years and just looking to switch up your routine, or you’re starting out for the first time (in a while or ever!), here are a few things to keep in mind in order to get the most out of your workout.
1. Start Slowly
If you’re new to exercise, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Trying to do too much too soon can lead to injuries or burnout. It’s better to start with shorter, less intense workouts and gradually work up to longer, more strenuous sessions.
2. Incorporate Cardio AND Strength Training
In order to be healthy, it’s important to have a well-rounded workout routine that includes both cardio and strength training. Cardio exercises like running or biking can help improve your heart health, while strength-training exercises like lifting weights can help build muscle and improve your overall fitness level.
3. Focus On What You Enjoy
If you find an exercise that you enjoy, you’re more likely to stick with it in the long run. If you dread going to the gym, try out different activities until you find one that’s enjoyable for you. There are many different ways to get active, so there’s sure to be something that you like.
4. Set Realistic Goals
When starting a new fitness routine, it’s important to set realistic goals that you can actually achieve. Trying to accomplish too much too soon is only setting yourself up for disappointment. Start by setting small, achievable goals and build upon them as you get stronger and more fit.
5. Make a Schedule
It can be helpful to make a schedule of when you’ll work out each week. This will help you make sure you’re sticking to your routine and getting in all the exercise you need. Be sure to allow yourself some flexibility in your schedule so that you can accommodate life’s inevitable surprises.
6. Find a Workout Partner
Working out with a friend or family member can make exercise more enjoyable and help you stay motivated. It’s also helpful to have someone to hold you accountable if you start skipping workouts. If you don’t have anyone to work out with, consider joining a local sports team or group fitness class.
7. Warm Up & Cool Down
Before and after your workout, be sure to warm up and cool down properly. Warming up helps prepare your body for exercise and can prevent injuries. Cooling down helps your body recover from exercise and can improve your flexibility.
8. Listen to Your Body
Last but not least, it’s important to listen to your body when you’re exercising. If you start to feel pain, dizziness, or nausea, stop what you’re doing and rest. For example, back pain from exercise can be a sign of a serious injury, so it’s important to listen to your body and seek medical attention if you experience any pain. It’s also important to drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy foods to fuel your workouts.
By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to a successful fitness routine that you can stick with for the long haul. Just remember to start slowly, increase your intensity gradually, and find an activity you enjoy. (And don’t forget to listen to your body!)
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