If you woke up one day and decided it was time to get in shape, you made the right decision. There are countless benefits to working out. Physical and mental health are both positively affected by working out and that’s just the beginning. The difficult part of starting a fitness regime is actually starting it. For the uninitiated, there are a lot of things to learn along the way. Luckily, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Here are some tips to get the ball rolling.
1. Preparation is key
You can’t make a workout plan without getting prepared first. Exercise is not something you can just start willy-nilly. If you’re in poor physical condition, starting an exercise regime won’t be an easy task. Your workout won’t go smoothly if you run out of breath halfway through the first mile of your treadmill run. Nevertheless, treadmill and stationary bike are the best places to start.
One of the worst things you can do at this point is taking a workout plan from an experienced gym-goer on the internet. Most people set very high expectations for their first day at the gym and the subsequent failure makes them give up very shortly after. It would be best if you followed your intuition and endurance for a good start. Hit the treadmill and walk a couple of miles to get warmed up. Once you’re confident you can hit a stride from that point on, you can run for a hundred meters or so. There’s no reason to overexert yourself on day one. Get used to the experience and warm yourself up until you’re sure you can do more.
2. Keep your muscles and tendons relaxed
A good day at the gym isn’t complete without a bit of stretching here and there. Nobody likes being tensed up for their big fitness day. Muscles have an unusual reaction to an intense workout. When they get worked up, some fibers stay contracted for a while instead of relaxing from a lack of energy. When you finish your workout, you might feel like you’re tight and tense. This can be remedied by a good stretching session.
Not only will this allow your muscles to relax, but this will also massively improve muscle growth. The fibers in question don’t want to cooperate in any way with muscle growth. Stretching can sometimes make them break to make way for other muscle fibers to grow in size. This is essentially how building muscle mass works.
3. Work on your cardio
A lot of beginner gym-goers neglect the cardio part of their workout. Even those who just want to gain a little muscle mass still need to consider working on their endurance. If you’re in poor shape, there’s no doubt about the fact that you need some cardio.
Hitting the treadmill and stationary bike should be your first order of business. Without having a lot of endurance, you can’t expect to see any significant results in the gym. Even when it’s not your cardio day, try to start off every workout with some running. Not only does it get you fired up and excited about the rest of your workout, but you also get that blood pumping.
If you’re able to, you should consider running outside. It feels a lot less repetitive than running on a treadmill and you get to enjoy some fresh air from time to time. If you’re strapped for time, you can always do some high-intensity interval training instead. This allows you to finish much of your cardio workout in a shorter amount of time.
4. Cut Sugar out of your diet
Without a proper diet, you won’t be able to achieve anything in your workout regime. It’s said that fitness is eighty percent diet and twenty percent technique. That’s how important it is to keep your diet well regulated. One of the main things that keep people from losing weight is an overabundance of sugar.
Sugar has invaded just about every food we own. The fat-free craze has left people with a bunch of fat-free food which is packed with carbohydrates. This kind of food doesn’t leave you feeling full and sated at all. Hunger returns after a short while and you end up eating a lot more calories.
Protein and fat are essential parts of a stable diet. If your food is rich in healthy fats, you’re going to be able to go through with your day on one or two meals. Having a smaller number of meals also helps you lose weight.
5. Up those proteins
Whether or not you want to build muscle mass, proteins are your friends. You want to consume as many of them as possible in order to see the best results from exercising. A high protein diet allows you to strain yourself more when you work out and it helps you recover much faster.
Sticking to healthy sources of protein is a must. Most people get a lot of their proteins from various kinds of meat. This is a viable method, but consuming too much meat can wreak havoc on your digestive system. You should also try some healthier alternatives for protein-rich food. Try to look for recipes that also include salmon and lentils. They are delicious when properly prepared and you get a pretty good source of protein with the meal.
Protein shakes are another recommended way to get your daily dose of amino acids. They are usually mixtures of whey protein combined with something sweet and tasty like chocolate. Mix up a couple of spoons of whey protein with milk before every workout and drink it. If you find yourself aching and tired after the workout, you can drink another glass of the stuff for good measure.
6. Take care of your joints
Muscles aren’t the only thing you have to focus on at the gym. Joints are just as important in the grand scheme of working out. They aren’t mentioned often because they aren’t as flashy as muscles since muscles grow in size and give us our physique. Taking care of your joints is imperative if you want to avoid injury.
Trainees that are on the heavier side might want to be careful during their first days at the gym. Joints have finite strength and adding pressure to existing weight during a workout could cause them harm. In some cases when trainees are considered obese, weight loss surgery is recommended before hitting the gym. As any cosmetic surgeon will point out, surgery is no substitute for exercise and diet, however, it is useful in dealing with localized deposits of fat. Once you’re at a manageable weight, workouts can commence without issues.
7. Educate yourself on various methods
There are thousands of workout plans out there. You need to find yourself a plan that works for you. Consider what your goals are and then accommodate your fitness regime according to them. Ask yourself if the goal of your workouts is losing weight or gaining muscle. Workouts vary depending on what their mission is.
Once you’ve picked the right fitness regime, you need to stick to it. Weights and technique are important aspects of working out, but they pale in comparison to dedication. If you aren’t able to stick to your plan, you won’t make any permanent results. Fitness isn’t something like a passing diet, it’s supposed to be a way of life. The daily or weekly workout routine you pick out has to be maintained from then on. Only by doing this can you achieve what you’re aiming for.
For total beginners, working out regularly can seem like an almost impossible task. Luckily, there are more than enough examples out there that this isn’t the case. No matter what your fitness goals are, there’s no doubt that with enough dedication you will be able to achieve them.