Being new to working out can be terrifying. Walking into a gym and seeing a room full of equipment that looks to you like Medieval torture devices, can be enough to send you running. Never mind the fact that everyone seems to know what they are doing while you stand there feeling lost and confused. You may think you are the only person left on the planet who has yet to be initiated into this community but that is just plain untrue. "While it may seem like everyone is killing themselves at TRX, Soul Cycle, and CrossFit, this just isn’t the case," says Franci Cohen, fitness trainer, exercise physiologist, and nutritionist. If you are new to the scene and need a little help, the following pieces of advice are bound to make your life much easier!
1. Stay Balanced
When you are just getting started, it can be easy to overdo it. You're excited, you've made a change toward a healthier you and this motivation can be intoxicating. But slow down a little. Don't try to run too far, do too many crunches or lift too heavy. Cohen recommends asking if your routine fits your schedule. "A good rule to follow: Include at least four cardio exercises and two or three strength training circuits. Use the off days to allow your muscles time to recover and get stronger," she explains.
2. Know When To Stretch
There are many studies out there that suggest stretching before your workout could actually work against you. "Although it might seem like the best thing to do, stretching before a workout may put you at risk of injury," says Cohen. "Try stretching your muscles for 15 seconds after you warm up. You are less likely to get hurt from stretching if your muscles are already warmed up."
3. Keep Small Equipment In Your Living Room
Obviously you don't want to clutter up your living space by keeping big, bulky pieces of equipment lying around but putting a few small pieces, like dumbbells, can remind you to get moving. This reminder is especially helpful when you are sitting in front of the television. "They will be difficult to avoid when you're looking right at them," says Cohen. "If you really don't want exercise gear cluttering your home, make time to perform short activities that get your heart rate up but require little or no space or equipment, like jumping jacks."
[bctt tweet="6 Fitness Tips For Newbies That Will Make Exercise Manageable AND Fun!"]
4. Don't Get Stuck On The Treadmill
While you may be tempted to stick to an exercise you feel comfortable with, it is important to mix things up and see what works best for you. "New exercisers often do the same routine for the same duration and at the same intensity every time they work out," says Cohen. "So you'll stay on the treadmill until you either die of boredom or get hurt." Boredom and injury are motivation killers and definitely worth avoiding. You know what else is worth avoiding? A plateau. If you keep changing up your routine, you can avoided flat-lining your results.
5. Know When To Take A Break
“If you don’t give your body time to heal and repair itself, your performance will go down and you’ll get into a vicious cycle where you never fully recover,” Cohen says. When you workout, you create tiny tears in your muscles and it is on your rest days, that these tears heal, bringing your muscles back stronger than before. Take it easy on your rest days. If you really feel like you have
to do something, do something relaxing and low-key like walking.
6. Don't Get Stuck On The Numbers
When you have a fitness tracker of some sort, it can be tempting to check in often. You may want to constantly know your running pace or your heart rate. And while this information can be useful, if used too frequently it can turn into an obsession. "Every now and then, go unplugged and focus your attention on what your body is telling you," says Cohen. "Move at a pace that feels good, listen to your body, and enjoy the experience." Any time you exercise and put your body in motion, you are doing a good thing. Your body will benefit so don't feel like you have to beat a personal best each and every time you head out.
We know that beginning a new routine can be terrifying. If you find yourself confused about where to even start, we can help. Try the BodyRock Beginner Bootcamp Challenge. This program has been specifically designed for people who are just starting out. It includes 21-days of guided workouts to challenge you but not overwhelm you. Let us help you get into the best shape of your life! You can find the Beginner Bootcamp (along with our other bootcamps and challenges) on demand with SweatFlix
! Stream the workouts any time you want, any where you want! And once you're through the Beginner, you can move on to the Intermediate Bootcamp or one of the other available workout series. Or, you can sign up here
and get the Beginner Bootcamp delivered to your inbox one day at a time.
Are you a beginner? What do you feel most challenged by?