For too long, you have sat in your armchair watching people run past your window, Fitbits on their arms and sweat dripping down their foreheads. For too long, you have been ignoring your health, knowing the benefits of exercise, but doing very little to achieve them. It’s time to say so long to ‘far too long,’ and get into the fitness habit. But before you do, and especially if you are a fitness beginner, there are some essential do’s and don’ts you need to adhere to.
Consider the following as useful examples.
DO ensure you are physically ready. While we wholeheartedly recommend exercise, you don’t want to jump into anything if you are not healthy enough to start. If you have any prevailing health conditions, or if your body is proportionately out of shape, go and see your doctor, tell him you want to get into a fitness programme and ask him for his opinion. He should give you advice on further fitness do’s and don’ts in relation to your physical readiness, so listen to what he has to say, and follow his instructions to ensure you don’t come to any harm when exercising.
DON’T run before you can walk. Don’t lift 50 lb weights before you have tried something a little smaller. And don’t cycle 10 miles before doing 5. In short, we are telling you to pace yourself. If you push yourself too hard at the beginning, not only are you more likely to give up early due to exhaustion, but you might also do yourself an injury. Know your limits, start small, and track your progress, exercising in stages instead of doing something unrealistic for your strength and fitness levels.
DO choose an exercise you are going to enjoy. Think back to your gym classes at school and the sports you enjoyed as a child. What activities did you enjoy? And which activities did you hate? Remember, when it comes to your fitness routine, despite the word ‘routine,’ it doesn’t have to be a chore. If you pick activities that don’t appeal to you, no matter how many other people you see benefitting from them, you are bound to give up at an early stage. So, think about the things you might enjoy. There are a whole range of activities for you to take part in, be that something you do primarily on your own, such as walking, running, and swimming, to more sociable activities such as tennis, squash, and basketball. Give something new a go by all means, but if you have enjoyed something previously, consider returning to that activity when you’re thinking about keeping fit.
DON’T forget your pre-workout routine. While your main activity is the crux of your fitness routine, it is your time pre-workout that can make or break your time in the gym or out on the field. So, no matter what activity you are involved in, ensure you prepare yourself before going out. This starts with getting enough sleep, as you won’t feel energised when you’re working out, otherwise. You should also have something nutritious to eat and drink, as you need to fuel your body for the workout you are embarking on. Opt for something high in protein, such as a banana or a protein shake, and consider these cheap pre-workout supplements to give you an extra burst of energy. And then remember to warm up your body. If you don’t limber up first, you might injure yourself later on, so use these warm-up exercises as examples. By adhering to these pre-workout tips, you should perform better within your fitness routine.
DO buddy up with somebody. If you have friends or family members looking to get into shape, ask them to buddy up with you. Find an exercise you can both enjoy, and then benefit from the motivation and sense of camaraderie that you can offer each other. You will be less likely to give up early due to boredom or distractions this way, and it might also amp up the fun factor for you, especially if you are a bit of a social butterfly. Of course, if your workout buddy hinders rather than benefits your fitness routine, you should explain the problem to them, and continue alone or with a new buddy if necessary.
DON’T forget to hydrate yourself. You will be losing a lot of sweat when exercising, so you do need to keep yourself topped up with water. Bring a water bottle with you, and look for a place to fill it up when your water runs out. If you don’t drink sufficient water, you will dehydrate, and this can cause you to cramp up, feel tired, and even faint. Hydrating is important before, during, and after your workout, so follow this guide to find out how much water is necessary for you, taking into account the varying factors within the article to determine how much H20 you should be drinking.
DO consult the experts. As a fitness beginner, there is no harm in asking for help. So, if you are going to the gym, for example, work with a trainer to help you make the most of your workout. Or if you are considering running as an exercise, hire a fitness coach to work with you. Of course, if you know anybody within your social circle or family group who is adept at fitness, curb the expense of an outside professional, and ask those closest to you for support. In all cases, however, check their credentials so you know you are getting the best and the right advice.
DON’T give up. It can be easy to give up on exercise. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, or if you aren’t in the right mood to slip your fitness outfit on, you can easily get out of the fitness habit. If this happens often, you might struggle to get started again, and all of your hard work previously will have been for naught. There are lots of motivating tips here, so if you ever do feel like giving up, refer to the ideas in the linked article to spur you onwards.
Thanks for reading!