By Martin Ebner
You've decided to take the plunge into exercising but aren't quite sure where to start, what to do or what to expect. Fear not, we've got you covered. In this article we'll look at some of the most important aspects when engaging in exercise for the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd time.
What's your goal?
The first thing i always ask my clients is, do you have a goal... Well do you?
If you don't, it's time to have a think about what you would like to achieve from exercise. It's so important that before you begin any sort of exercise that you first set yourself a goal or two. These goals don't have to be epic lifetime goals, they can be as small and seemingly insignificant as you like. Once you've set some goals, you have something to aim for!
Some examples: lose 5lbs, run your first 10k, look hot in swimwear, slim and tone, build 10lbs of muscle.
Make a plan
Now that you have some goals, it's time to make an exercise plan.
You can't approaching exercise impulsively and expect to see significant results. If you do, you will likely bail out sooner rather than later and find yourself back on the sofa, elbow deep in a tub of Haagen Dazs.
What to include in your exercise plan?
What sort of exercise you are going to do, how regularly you intend on doing it, the length of your workouts, the specific exercises included in each workout, repetitions, sets and rest time.
Now that you have a goal and a plan it's time to get sweating. The act of procrastination is often worse than the task itself and the longer you leave it, the less likely you are to begin.
Hire a personal trainer
If the very thought of creating a workout plan was off-putting, it might be worth considering employing a personal trainer to help get you started.
Your trainer will help you set realistic and attainable goals, build you a comprehensive workout plan, show you how to exercise correctly, irradiate any doubts you have and set you off on the right foot.
Start slowly and build up gradually
There is little point in throwing yourself into an unrealistic and unsustainable workout routine. Going from couch to the weights-room 7 days a week will more likely result in a trip to the E.R than yield any sort of results. By starting off slowly and a pace that works for you, you will put yourself under less pressure, allow your body time to adapt accordingly and you will be more likely stick to it in the long run.
Hydrate, eat and repeat
Sore and tired muscles? Chances are it's a result of poor nutrition and dehydration, not last night's spinning class. Make sure to drink plenty of water during and after your workouts and make sure to consume enough clean foods (wholegrain carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, legumes, nuts, seeds and healthy fats).
Listen to your body
If you body is in agony, it's time to rest, not run. On the other hand, if you don't feel anything the day following a workout, chances are you're not pushing quite hard enough. Listen to your body and it will help you find the right balance and what works best for you.
Find something you enjoy
You know the expression, "find a job that you like and you never have to work another day in your life". Same applies for exercise! By choosing a form of exercise that you enjoy, you are 10 times more likely to stick at it in the long run.
To summarise then: set a goal, make a plan, don't procrastinate, recruit help, start slowly, build up, hydrate, eat and repeat, listen to your body and enjoy!!!