Starting a New Exercise Routine is Hard, But Not if You Follow this Guide
Starting an exercise routine can seem overwhelming. But if you know what to do, the self-doubt might soon slip away. In this article, we share some simple guidelines that can help make things smoother for you.
1. Focus on Why You Want to Exercise
It’s important to have a clear reason for exercising. If you don’t, you’re more likely to give up on your exercise routine. Focusing on why you want to exercise will help you stay on track. It will also help you create the most effective exercise routine possible to reach your specific fitness goal.
You can ask yourself questions like "Is this for stress relief?" or "Is this to increase strength?"
Whatever your exercise goal may be, the first step in creating an exercise routine that will work best for you is understanding what your current fitness goal is.
2. Start Slow and Go Steady
One simple, but often overlooked way of getting your new exercise routine off to a great start is to begin slow and go steady. This means that you need to set small, doable goals for yourself. Start with just a few minutes per day, and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable.
Don't overextend yourself and push past your current limits. Trying too hard right off the bat could lead to injuries. And there's a good chance you'll give up on exercising altogether. Remember, the key is to start small--work your way up slowly.
3. Work Out at Your Level
Intensity means how difficult your workout is. Work out at the intensity that fits your current fitness level. Otherwise, your body could be sore or injured.
If you’re taking on more of a rigorous workout, make sure to take it easy the first few weeks. This will allow your body to adjust to any increased demands and avoid injuries.
You have to find what works for your body. Just because one person runs for an hour doesn't mean that the same amount of time will suit you. You need to work out at the right intensity. If it's too hard, take a break. That's why they say "you're on your own schedule."
You'll find what works best when you listen to your body, not when someone is telling you what should be working.
4. Commit to your Workouts
A key point as you put together a new exercise routine is commitment. It's the only way to achieve good results.
Exercise is a habit that doesn't happen overnight. If you commit to doing something every single day, it will become a part of your daily routine as time goes on.
You'll find that as you go about your daily life, the things that used to seem like one more thing to do will just be part of what's normal for you. Commit to going through with each workout, one day at a time.
One way to ensure that you can commit to your workout is to find an exercise or activity you love. If running for an hour is not something you enjoy doing, then don't do it. If finding a new, more rewarding activity sounds appealing, then go for it!
Finding what you care about is the motivation necessary to stick with your new workout routine. There are many other benefits to exercising. If you focus on these, you'll be less tempted to stop!
5. Reduce Muscle Soreness
When starting an exercise routine, it's natural to experience some muscle soreness, especially the first few times the muscles are used.
To reduce this discomfort, you may try the following:
- Warm-up and cool down
- Drink plenty of fluids during and after your workout
- Take it easy and take a rest when needed
- Use a foam roller right after your workout
- Slowly increase your intensity and frequency
Weight loss is a good reason to get started with a new exercise routine, but it isn't the only one. Research tells us that fitness habits result in a range of health benefits for people of all ages, from reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease to helping those with arthritis and those longing for better energy levels.
As an individual living an increasingly hectic life, it can seem as though finding time for yourself is nearly impossible. But if your priority is to live well and feel less stressed, you don't have much to lose by giving your body the care and attention it deserves.
Disclaimer: Although gathered with great care, this information is not intended to take the place of regular medical care or advice. Please consult with your doctor before using this information or beginning any self-care program.