So you’ve been hearing from almost everywhere it seems that you should exercise more, but how do you get started? It seems like a long way from a life on the couch to a life up and moving. The pictures of slim, toned bodies posted on every second billboard seem unattainable. First of all, those pictures aren’t usually 100% natural. Second of all, every body is different. Third of all, our bodies were made to move so after you jump the hurdle of getting started, your body will thank you for it and you will start to feel so much better. This means that maintaining an active lifestyle slowly will become easier as your body becomes used to it. Great news!
Health Benefits of Working Out
A lot of people start with the resolution to start working out with a goal to weight loss. In actual fact the health benefits of working out are so many that weight loss becomes a secondary win. If you start off with the goal to feeling better and living a healthier life, you will find sticking to working out so much easier. Research is mounting to show that exercise can lift your mood, help you think clearer at your work and life, improve your sleep and in general give you a more positive outlook on life. It is well known that the greatest health benefits of exercise can reduce your risk of chronic diseases, help you maintain a healthy body weight and keep you stronger for longer. Regular exercise is such a significant health factor that doctors recommend everyone to include 150minutes of exercise into our lives every week.
Getting Started to Keep Going
You are probably already convinced that exercise is good for you – this is good motivation to get started. Exercise Physiologist Bill Sukala says that, “If you can begin to associate being active with pleasure and how good you feel as a result of it, you’ll be more inclined to stick to your exercise routine.” One of the hardest things about starting out with the intention of working out is setting yourself up to stick at it. If you keep reminding yourself of the reasons why you want to become more active, it will help you to stay focussed. But there are a number of other ways to motivate yourself to stick at your new workout routine.
Good Gear. Invest in some supportive runners, a few sets of exercise pants and tops you can cycle through the washing machine and a supportive bra. If you have the right gear, it can really help you to get in the head-space to exercise. Even if you put on your exercise gear when you feel like you don’t want to workout can help you do just 10 minutes, which is better than none. Having a clean set of exercise gear ready in your gym bag can help you form a habit and get you on your way to regular workouts.
Gym Membership/Classes. Signing up to a gym or a fitness class can be a really great way to get started and stick at it. The mere financial commitment is enough for some people to keep themselves accountable. The other reason gyms and classes are great for sticking at it are the people. Your instructor or merely the person on reception saying, “see you next time!” can be enough to bring you back.
Personal Trainers. Getting started at a gym can be overwhelming and daunting if you’ve never set foot in a gym before. Personal Trainers can be your best friend at showing you how to use equipment safely and effectively. They can tailor a workout to your body and your needs and they can help you out on the right foot. Investing in a Personal Trainer can really give you the knowledge to continue on with different workouts for the rest of your life.
Home Equipment. We all know that inevitably there will be days where you can’t make the gym or the weather is bad out. Don’t let these things stop you from continuing on your workout routine. Invest in some simple, basic home exercise equipment. Grab these three basic pieces of equipment for the rainy day:
- Skipping Rope. 10minutes skipping will get your heart rate up in an instant.
- Medium Weight Dumbbell. Try around 2-5kg to add some light weight into your routine. Hold them when doing squats or raise them above your head to get your muscles working.
- Floor Mat. Having a soft surface to do floor exercises will save your back and get you working on your core.
Sometimes the hardest thing about starting working out is the actual workout itself. There are literally millions of different types of workout regimes out there that it can get a little confusing. How many reps, how long, how many days, how much rest, how many kilos to lift…??? The mere fact that there are so many different ideas means that the details don’t really matter. When you’re just starting out, all you need to do is start. Stick with the schedule and you will then start to figure out some details that will be suited to you and your goals. Keep it simple at the start and go slow. You need to get your body used to the new activity and you need to teach your brain how to move your muscles correctly so you don’t injure yourself. Go slow and enjoy it. Because there’s no prescription, you can switch it up until you find something that you enjoy.
Whatever you decide to do, try to incorporate these three things into your workout regime across the week to give your body a good balance of exercise.
- Cardio. To burn calories and improve your heart & lung function.
- Strength. To build lean muscle and bone density.
- Stretch. To improve and maintain flexibility.
Start with either cardio or strength each session for 15 minutes for two days a week. End each session with 15 minutes of stretching to maintain muscle length and improve movement. Just get started! We would love to help you here at AJ’s too, so come on in and say hello.