Fitness First: An Absolute Beginners Guide To Exercise

When it comes to exercise, workouts, and looking after our overall physical health we all tend to fall into one of three categories. Regular gym goers, athletes, those who play sports and dancers will workout at least once a day, sometimes twice a day with a thorough regime that targets specific areas of the body with cardio, weightlifting, and cross training activities. However, more casual exercisers who enjoy weekly dance classes, yoga sessions or the odd game of badminton are less likely to be continuously monitoring their health, sleep patterns or tracking run routes and they usually see exercise as something fun, relaxed and something to help them de-stress from the day.

Lastly, many people do little, to no exercise each week and walking to the shops, running to catch a bus or going into town with friends is the limit of their daily activity. Luckily, if you sometimes feel like you could be fitter, train harder or run longer there are many things you can do that’ll get you off the couch. Remember, once you’ve got a handle of the basics workout programs are very adaptable, and you’ll soon be feeling healthier, happier, and more confident with a fresh, positive outlook on life.

Get Yourself Ready


Right now you need to take one day at a time and it all starts with a doctor’s visit. Why? If your body is carrying a lot of unhealthy fat, you’ve suffered from health problems in the past or are older than, say forty-five it’s important to have a medical assessment to check that your body is fit enough to undergo a new program. The good news is that no matter what medical issues you may have, there’s usually a way of devising a workout program that’ll work around trouble spots.

Take It Slow


Don’t go tearing off the start line! You need to think slow and steady otherwise you’re very likely to injure yourself. Don’t forget that your body isn’t used to being pushed in this manner; you’re looking to develop lifelong healthy habits so think carefully and don’t expect to get results overnight. Research shows that those who aggressively attack a new workout when they don’t have strength and stamina behind them often fail to make it past the first few months. Make sure you’ve got decent pair of trainers, leggings, and t-shirts to work out in but don’t go buying yourself fancy fitness gadgets just yet. Many of us, mistakenly, believe that we’ll automatically be better if we shell out a load of money on the latest, perfectly attuned high-performance footwear! Absolute beginners will do much better by making sure they get out there three times a week, focusing on completing a warm up or being able to run around your block without getting a stitch rather than worrying about sportswear.

Know The Lingo


Ever overheard a group of guys standing outside their gym talking about curls? Reps? Rates and cool downs? These strange expressions are all standard fitness talk and are often shorthand or gym slang for some fairly common phrases. Rates is quite easy and stands for heart rate, either what it is when resting or during exercise. The fitter you are the less work your heart has to do to pump blood around the body so understanding your heart rate is a great way of keeping track of your progress.

Warm ups and cooldowns are relatively self-explanatory too as these are fifteen to twenty-minute sessions that get the muscles warmed up through various stretches, poses, and activities such as jumping jacks that are designed to increase blood flow, getting muscles and joints ready for exercise. Cooldowns often involve light jogs, or stretching sets so your breathing and heart rate are then lowered naturally. Mindfully centre yourself afterwards using quick visualizations or even a meditation something which’s becoming more, and more common.

Choose Healthy Foods


It goes without saying that you need to drink water when exercising, as inadequate hydration hits quickly leading to dizziness, nausea, and vomiting as well as excessive sweating which isn’t good for you. Beginners should carry a water bottle with them at all times and aim to drink eight glasses of water a day. Whatever you do don’t exercise on an empty stomach, aim to have a light snack twenty to thirty minutes before you start but also don’t eat a three-course meal then get on the  treadmill. Best case scenario? You’ll develop wind or a painful stitch. The more likely scenario? You’ll probably be quite violently sick all over the equipment, marking you out as a real newbie and embarrassing you all at the same time.

If you’re looking to lose weight, or tone up like fans of the piyo review program you can’t go wrong with eating lean proteins, plenty of pulses and grains, salad, vegetables, fruit and even starch products like rice or potatoes. Avoid food that’s been overly processed or which contains a high amount of salt, fat, and sugar. While it seems like they give you plenty of energy they actually do the opposite; it’s no coincidence that you feel particularly sluggish and sleepy having eaten an entire packet of iced biscuits on the sofa.

Get Plenty Of Zzz

Flickr Photo: frankjuarez



Chances are if you’re fairly out of shape even the easiest workout is going to leave you tired, drained and wondering why the hell you started this in the first place! Experts suggest that on average adults need between eight, and nine hours sleep per night. Avoid having caffeine and alcohol too close to bedtime, as one, you’ll be wired for hours, and two you’ll be in and out of the bathroom all night. Keep the room itself as dark as possible, use a sleep monitoring app that tells you when you are naturally waking up, or entering the lightest part of your R.E.M sleep cycle and set your alarms at the time it suggests.Take all non-essential technology out of the bedroom and dedicate the last two hours before bed to ‘winding down’ i.e. Reading a book, listening to music or even having a Skype catch up with a friend.


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