We asked our fitness experts to come up with a compact list of dos and don’ts for every beginner to follow. So for those of you who have made the healthy decision to get off the couch and start exercising, we say: Bravo! You have taken the first step toward a healthier mind, body, and spirit.
A series of questions, doubts will appear in your head … How long should I train? Do I need to exercise every day? So we’ve put together this basic checklist to get you on the right track. Just apply these basic recommendations to your exercise regimen and get off to a great start in this new way of life.
1. Easy does it
Most experts say that for beginners, it is good to start with 2/3 days a week and for at least 30 minutes per session. You can then gradually upload it from there. Don’t start with a harsh daily regimen – Easy does it! Start with 30 minutes of cardio 2/3 times a week and strength training once a week. Continue this for two to three months until this regimen becomes an integral part of your daily routine.
two. Warm up and stretch
Always, always, warm up first. Take your body through basic movements that will relax and stretch your muscles. This will ensure that your body is functioning at an optimal level, and more importantly, it will prevent injury problems.
3. Don’t follow the same set of exercises
This is a common mistake that many beginners make. Don’t stick to the same set of exercises every day. Mix. Toggle between the 3 main types of exercise: aerobic, anaerobic, and flexibility.
Aerobic exercise is exercise that requires the use of oxygen to fuel the body for exercise demands. This form of exercise is traditionally thought of as cardiovascular exercise, such as running on a treadmill or riding a bike. Anaerobic exercise is a form of exercise that requires glucose for short, intense workloads. Strength training and sprinting are forms of anaerobic exercise.
Four. Weight training
The great thing about basic bodyweight training for beginners is that as a beginner, you can train from anywhere, even from home. You can even start exercising at home with just a basic exercise band. There are excellent YouTube videos with basic workouts with exercise bands. All you have to do is choose and follow one of the highest rated videos.
Dumbbells are another great way to start basic weight training. Compared to barbells, dumbbells seem much less intimidating to beginners. Dumbbells also have an added stabilization challenge and signal muscle imbalances quite easily. For those who want to start weight training with a little more intensity, the bars are definitely the way to go. If your goal is strength above all else, this is the option we recommend. The bars allow you to progress clearly and quickly, allowing you to add small increases in weight each week.
5. Give your body adequate recovery time
Take a break periodically. Without pain there is no gain. So if you find that your body hurts during the initial stages after starting to exercise, well, that’s a good sign – you’re on the right track. But don’t make the mistake of trying your best and not giving your body enough time to heal and recover. Also avoid taking pain relievers, as they only mask the pain. The best way forward is to let your body heal naturally.
If you don’t give your body time to heal and repair itself, your performance will decline and you will enter a vicious cycle where you will never fully recover. And if it hurts after exercising, that’s good (unless it hurts too bad). Don’t rush to take a pain reliever, because that can mask the pain and cause real harm to your body. Allow yourself to recover naturally.