When you are thinking about getting back in shape there are a few basic steps to starting a workout that can mean the difference between quitting and failing, or great success. Following these 10 simple suggestions will give you a better chance of reaching your goal.
Warm up- Make sure your body is warmed up, and ready to work out. Before starting a workout, engaging in 10-15 minutes of walking, jogging, elliptical, or the like is a great way of achieving this.
Form- Correct body alignment, smooth, slow movements and proper technique are all more important than weight when learning a strength training routine. Isolating the muscle group properly is more important than incorrectly pushing heavy weight.
Realistic Goals- Don’t set goals that are impossible to attain. Setting smaller goals in the beginning and achieving them will go a long way in building confidence and taking the steps forward you need to keep progressing when starting a workout program.
Lifestyle fit- Picking a workout routine that fits your lifestyle is key. If you are motivated by the gym and feel less distracted, better equipped and inspired there, that might be for you. If you are not into the public workout of the gym, or have a difficult schedule, there are still options. You can utilize workout videos, floor space at home, resistance bands etc. all for an effective workout.
Keep it challenging- Your muscles will develop by increased resistance. Start out by choosing a resistance level that tires your muscles in the last two reps. If it becomes too easy, slowly increase that resistance until it again becomes tiring by the last two reps. Remembering to keep perfect form is still a must.
Consistency is key- No exercise program available will be successful if you are not doing it in a consistent manner. Whether it’s a daily routine or 3-4 times per week, stick with the plan and don’t skip workouts.
Pick something you like- The chances of you sticking with a routine you hate is much less likely than if you choose something you enjoy. If you hate weights, try something else like Zumba, Cardio Kickboxing, Spinning or Body Combat, really the choices are limitless. The same holds true if you despise cardio, try and keep it to a minimum. Vigorous workouts with weights, can be as effective at fat burning or more, if significant time on a treadmill is mind numbing to you.
Tempo- You want to keep a tempo that allows for great form, but at the same time you don’t want your breaks to be so long that you have difficulty tiring the muscle groups being worked.
Recovery time- Overtraining can be a serious obstacle as well. Strength training works by causing tiny tears in muscle fibers that heal and increase the muscles growth and development. Always give a muscle group 48 hours of rest when strength training.
Cool down- 10 minutes of stretching after a workout or walking after a vigorous cardio session is key to a proper cool down period.
Following these basic steps can mean the difference between changing your life and health for the better. Remember if you ever feel like you need help you can always call the experts.