10 Tips for the Workout Newbie

Are you headed to the gym for the first time? Don’t be intimidated — there are some tips that will help you enjoy your time exercising.

Interested in weights? Want to play tennis? Love the sound of racquetballs? Most gyms and exercise facilities will help you find something that will match what you want to do. The good news is that all you have to do to exercise is get moving. So pick something out that looks fun and get started.

Visit your physician first, before you start a regimen of working out. He will run tests, particularly if you have a sedentary lifestyle, to make sure that your body can handle what you are about to do.

Those $20 track shoes that you found at Wal-Mart will not work for serious exercise. Go to a sporting goods retailer and ask for help from the sales staff. They will ask you what you want to do, and then direct you toward shoes that will match your body style and your wished activity.

If you’ve decided to train for a 5K run, but you’ve never run more than the distance from the car to the house in a rainstorm, don’t go out and run two miles on your first workout. You’ll hurt yourself and be sore for days. Instead, start slowly. There are workouts online for every fitness level, or you can consult a personal trainer.

Listen to your body. If you’ve worked out three days in a row, and you don’t feel like getting out of bed on the 4th, then take that day off. That doesn’t mean that you should take the 5th day off too, though. It just means that now and then you need rest. Also, switch exercises. Don’t do the same thing for more than three days in a row, especially if you’re a beginner. Use a variety of exercises to achieve your results.

Keep a journal of your workouts. Don’t just write down what you did. Also write down how you felt, what you ate that day, what your time was (if you ran or cycled or swam, for example), what the weather was like, and so on. Looking back at this journal will give you a sense of comfort from the consistency you have built up over time.

Even if it’s just five minutes at the end of your workout, a cool down time is essential. Let your muscles slowly adapt from the stress of effort to the calm of relaxation. Usually this will just take the form of a slow walk or jog that brings your heart rate and muscular activity down at a safer rate of speed.

Working out is work — there’s just no way around that. However, it doesn’t have to be intimidating. After all, hard work brings results, no matter what type of work it is. By putting in the dedication to developing and following a workout plan, you will get the results that you want. Patience and consistency are the keys.