Swimsuit season is fast approaching, and that means you may be thinking about hitting the gym to get in shape. However, it isn’t always as simple as showing up and throwing around some weights or running on a treadmill. A successful workout regime requires discipline, planning, and a little imagination. If you’re new to the fitness world, there are some things you might want to consider before you begin that will make your journey to a beach-ready body easier and safer.
Smart Exercising: Tips for Beginners
Form good habits
The easiest way to condition your body to get used to exercising is to simply do it. Make yourself do some form of exercise at least five times a week, seven if you can swing it. Aim for 30 minutes of cardio every day with two days of weight training somewhere in there. Start slow, though. You probably won’t be able to run a marathon or squat your bodyweight on you first day, but your body can and will build up to that potential.
You might begin by walking up and down the block and gradually increase your distance and pace. Just because it doesn’t feel like a workout doesn’t mean you aren’t improving your endurance. Over time, exercise will become ingrained in your routine and you can start a more rigorous regime.
Until then, you could use this leisurely workout to practice breathing correctly and maintaining good posture. Slumping or stooping won’t do you any favors during your workouts. Standing or sitting straight will help keep you focused and allow for proper breathing.
When your workout starts to feel easy to you, it’s time to add some variation into the mix. Just because you can run on the treadmill for an hour doesn’t mean you’re in peak physical condition. Rather, your muscles have just become accustomed to performing the same actions over and over again.
Try adventurous outdoor activities like kayaking, running, rock climbing, or hiking. If you’re having trouble mixing it up yourself, gyms usually offer numerous classes to their members, such as Zumba or kickboxing.
Most importantly, learn to listen to your body. When you start gritting your teeth or clenching your fists, you’re wasting valuable energy. Ease up a bit or move on to something different. You’ll quickly learn what your limits are, and although it’s fine to push them, try to avoid overexerting yourself, which can lead to permanent injuries Also, be sure to stay hydrated. Dry muscles aren’t as flexible and can cause sprains.
Additionally, you probably know to do a warm up before you begin a workout to prevent sprains and other injuries. Ten minutes of stretching or running in place will prepare your body for what you’re about to ask of it by sending oxygen-rich blood to your muscles. What you may not be aware of is the importance of stretching after your workout. This allows your muscles, which have been pushed and pulled in all sorts of directions, to return to their normal state. It also helps prevent injuries in the future.
Getting in shape takes a lot of time and patience. Don’t be frustrated that your washboard abs aren’t appearing overnight. Be smart and plan the safest, most optimal routines that can help you reach your fitness goals.