7 Tips for Beginners to Get Active

Easy to follow tips

We all know that becoming more active is very good for us. Physical activity can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, reduce your risk of some cancers, strengthens your bones and muscles, improves your mental health and mood, increases your chances of living longer, controls your weight and of course regular exercise will help you feel more confident, happy and healthy in general.

healthy happy person

This all sounds great, doesn’t it? The big question is though, where to start!? Do I need to buy expensive outfit, equipment, join an expensive gym or hire a personal trainer or shall I just go for a run in my local park?

Here are a few tips that you can utilise before engaging in any form of exercise.

1. Start Slow

Whatever exercise you decide to do, whether that be boxing, attending some group training, joining a running club or hire a personal trainer, don’t just jump right in and start exercising five days a week – that’s a recipe for disaster.  It’s better that you gradually work up to exercising several days per week while you see how your body responds. I usually recommend to exercise every second day but of course you need to listen to your own body. For example, if you worked out on day 1, took day 2 off as a rest day but on day 3, if you are still aching, you may want to consider to wait until day 4 before exercising again. Always listen to your body!

2. Build Up Your Cardio

My advice, to anyone, who is new to running is to start with small achievements. If you are a complete beginner, you may want to start with a 10 minutes steady run and build it up from here. When you are ready to progress, you can run longer, or faster or even further. You can play with the incline (if running on treadmill) or find a hill and do some hill runs! All of these progressions will help your cardiovascular and endurance system, your lungs and heart to become stronger and more efficient. Another benefit of cardiovascular training is that it speeds up your metabolism and it helps you burn body fat! That’s right! You will be loosing body fat like crazy!

people-jogging-on-treadmill

3. Don’t Overlook Strength Training

Believe it or not, strength training is a big part of getting that bikini body you have always dreamt of. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of misunderstanding about strength training especially within the ladies. The concept that lifting heavy makes women bulky is exaggerated and it’s wrong. I will soon be writing a post regarding the subject, but for now let me just point out some key benefits of strength training:

  • More lean muscle means less body fat
  • Weight-bearing exercises will help you develop strong bones
  • Manage your weight. Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories
  • Strength training may enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to do everyday activities. Building muscle also can contribute to better balance and may reduce your risk of falls. This can help you maintain independence as you age.
  • Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes.
  • Some research suggests that regular strength training and aerobic exercise may help improve thinking and learning skills for older adults.

strength-training

These are only a few benefits of many.  A more detailed post will be coming soon.

4. Know When to Stretch

Stretching is a very important part of any exercise programme. I always make my client’s stretch but it is important to know when to do it! I would never recommend to stretch before exercise as your muscles are still cold. A great warm up is what you want prior to jumping into something more strenuous. A light jog on a treadmill or in a spot, 5 minutes cycling or 500m row are all great options for getting your body ready for the main workout. Add some arm, hip and leg rotations and you are ready.

Stretching should be done as a cool-down after your workout. Whatever is you worked (legs, arms, chest etc.) do not leave the gym without stretching! Why? You can read more on stretching here: http://canadawaterpersonaltraining.co.uk/the-benefits-of-stretching/

stretching

Think outside of the box

5. Mix It Up

My next advice is to mix your workouts up. A mixed regimen of aerobic and strength training is the best way to achieve the body you want. But even within those categories, don’t stick to the same exercises every day. Don’t run every day. It will just get boring to the point that you will hate it. Instead of running, try doing some cycling, swimming or using  the cross trainer. If you like to play basketball or tennis, do that, because you’re more likely to stick to something you enjoy.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Most people are confused the first time they walk into a gym and are afraid of asking for advice. Gyms by law have their qualified people working there, called fitness instructors. If in doubt or simply need some advice, don’t hesitate to ask them. It is always better to ask for help than getting an unwanted injury.

Whilst a fitness instructor can give you useful general information regarding where to start and what exercises to do in the gym environment, personal trainers can really take your fitness to the next level. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a regular, your chosen personal trainer will be able to help you achieve your fitness goals with personalised exercise routines, meal plans and more! Do you have more questions on how a personal trainer can help you? Get In Touch

gym personal training

Don’t forget about the nutrition

7. Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating the right food will fuel your body with the right nutrients which will allow the body to perform better. Your plate should look like something like this:

Healthy Meal

It looks good, doesn’t it? Healthy food doesn’t necessarily mean you need to give up on flavours. When you create you dish, make sure that you have protein on your plate (fish, chicken, beef etc. ), lots of vegetables and you can also add a handful or starches like rice or pasta or even a potato. You diet will really depend on your fitness goals, but if you are a beginner, simple changes in you eating habits will make a big difference. Get in touch if you need more advice on nutrition.

 

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