New to exercise? Don’t know where to start?

Here's my top tips on how to get started.

Everyone who exercises had to start somewhere.  If you’re new to exercise it’s easy to think “I’ll never be as good as x’ or even if I train hard ‘I’ll never look like y’, this is just human nature, but don’t let negative thoughts hold you back.   Exercise has many benefits whatever your age, weight or physical condition and the sooner you start the sooner you can start creating that better version of YOU!

Man Squatting, new to exercise

1.Decide what type of exercise you want to do

  • Do you have any restrictions or areas in need of some focus?
  • Do you know your 'why?'
  • What do you enjoy?
  • Do you know what you don't enjoy?
  • Do you want to run, gain strength, gain flexibility or just get fitter? If you’re not sure - speak to an expert

2. Clothes

You don’t need expensive designer clothes to begin with. A loose fitting T-shirt, (a suitable sports bra for the ladies)and a pair of tracksuit bottoms, shorts or leggings will be fine. Comfortable trainers when outdoors and even go barefeet as often as possible especially when indoors.

3. START  S L O O O O O W.

One of the main mistakes people make when beginning a new exercise regime, is to train too hard, too quickly and either injure themselves or exhaust themselves. If you haven’t exercised in years (or ever!) the worst thing you can do is start exercising 7 days a week at your maximum capacity. Ease yourself into it - If you’re going to run, start by jogging a short distance and not under any specific time. See how it feels and slow down when you need to.  If you’re going to start a class, speak to the instructor to work out which classes are most suitable.

Just remember it is normal to experience feelings of discomfort when you start out; such as shortness of breath, sweating, and aching muscles after exercise. This is all completely normal and I promise you, your body will adjust quickly and that discomfort will ease with consistency and adequate rest.

4. Partner up

Find a workout buddy or a group where you will feel supported and motivated to keep going even when you may normally skip a workout if you were on your own. Staying accountable with a partner or small group really does help to maintain that consistency.

5. Stay Hydrated.

Get a water bottle and keep it with you when you train.  Getting dehydrated will effect your performance and can also lead to headaches and more serious health problems. It is important to keep your body hydrated daily and even more so when you workout, as it helps to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, deliver nutrients to your cells and keep your organs functioning properly.

Woman doing glute thrust, new to exercise blog entry

6. Eat right!

All food groups are necessary to sustain healthy energy levels and get the most out of your workouts. Carbohydrates are vital, as they can fuel your muscles before exercise. Protein helps improve muscle recovery after exercise, repairs tissue damage, and builds muscle mass. Lastly, regularly consuming healthy fats has been shown to help burn body fat and preserve muscle fuel during workouts, making your energy last longer. Think of the food you eat as being a fuel. Is it going to help you or just hinder your progress?

7. Listen to your body.

When you’re starting (or re-starting) an exercise program, a few minor aches are to be expected - especially in your muscles. You may have heard of ‘DOMS’ Delayed onset muscle soreness, but if you start getting joint or back pain STOP and seek professional advice.

Pain can be your body’s way of warning you something isn’t right, so pay attention! Get to know your body and how it feels when you exercise.

 

Woman holding gut/stomach

8. Over 45, Overweight or have a health condition?

Check with your doctor before starting to make sure the kind of exercise you’re doing is suitable.  In any of these cases (or if you have any doubts) it’s better to be safe, than sorry.

9. Be Consistent

You can’t make progress if you’re only exercising occasionally, you need to train every week and ideally 2 or more times per week, but make sure you have rest days for your body to recover. Find workouts and exercises that compliment each other. Factor in your stretch and recovery movements to keep your body at its best through your workouts.

10. Set GOALS & Track them.

It doesn’t matter whether they’re distance, time, strength or weight but monitoring your progress can give you the motivation you need to keep going. Write them down or store them in an app.

11. Warm up.

A warm up prepares you physically and mentally for your given workout. It gives you the chance to check in with your body and focus on whether something doesn’t feel quite right. You can then decide if the  workout is for you. Warming up through movement and activation prepares your body for the activity it is about to endure, raising your heart rate steadily and increasing blood flow to your muscles.  It can also help with better recovery and help to prevent injuries, so it’s really important that you do this.

Any more questions? Get in touch and good luck with your training!