That said, we know it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options out there. With practices ranging from weight lifting to yoga and gear like treadmills, ellipticals, and rowing machines, it might feel like there are too many factors to keep track of when starting a new workout routine from scratch. But there’s no need to fret. Here, we’ve put together some beginner essentials to help you get started workout out.
What are the Different Types of Exercises?
There are many different workout routines and exercises you can do to stay healthy. But all workout activities generally fall under one of a few basic types of exercises:
- Strength training exercises are centered around strengthening the bones and muscles. Common forms of strength training include weightlifting and bodyweight exercises.
- Aerobic exercise includes activities such as running, swimming, and dancing. They include cardio exercises where the main goal is to get your heartrate up.
- High-intensity training involves short intervals or bursts of high-intensity movement followed by periods of moderate exercise and rest.
- Balance and core-strengthening exercises include Pilates and yoga, where the goal is to improve stability.
- Rehabilitation exercises are administered after injuries to alleviate pain and restore or improve range of motion. They often include stretches, but may also involve strength and balance training.
Different types of fitness activities help meet different health goals. Understanding these different types of exercises will help you create the best exercise plan for you.
What are Good Exercises for Beginners?
There are loads of helpful online resources if you’re new to exercising. Online guides cover beginner basics of practices, exercises, and workouts such as:
- Yoga poses
- Bodyweight exercises
- Weightlifting with dumbbells and barbells
- Cardio and strength training
- High intensity interval training (HIIT)
If you’re starting out on your own, begin with simple exercises that can be done in short amounts of time. Try a fifteen- to thirty-minute workout or a steady jog. Do a gentle yoga session that gets your body moving and slowly into shape.
Who Can You Ask About Fitness?
There are many resources out there. You just have to know where to look:
- Connect with fitness experts in your area.
- Contact a gym or fitness center to explore their programs and equipment.
- Check out local yoga or dance classes.
Fitness professionals will be ready to help you create a fitness plan that works for you. If you’re not able to join a local gym, try hiring a personal trainer or setting up a home fitness area. Set up a positive atmosphere in your home gym so you feel motivated and excited to use it regularly.
How to Set Fitness Goals
Start setting exercise goals before you hit the track. When setting fitness goals, remember what motivates you:
- What results do you want to see?
- What’s most important to you when it comes to getting fit?
- What made you start exercising?
For instance, some people start exercising solely to lose weight, while others start a fitness plan to build mass. Understanding your motivators will help you figure out the best fitness plan for you.
Be sure your fitness goals are SMART:
What are Smart Fitness Goals?
- Specific—choose a goal that you can focus on every workout session.
- Measurable—keep track of your improvement or progress with regular measurements of reps, weights or lap times.
- Achievable—make sure your goals are realistic and tailored to your current fitness level.
- Relevant—your goal should matter to you, otherwise you won’t be motivated to stick to it.
- Time-bound—set a deadline for yourself.
When you reach a goal, reward yourself before creating new goals that provide additional challenges and ensure you keep growing in your routine.
How do You Keep Track of Your Fitness Progress?
A great way to stay motivated is to keep track of your fitness progress. Start a fitness journal and record your daily activities. Fitness journals are useful tools that can help you:
- Focus on working out different areas of the body each day.
- Track improvement or progression—total distance, total time, number of reps, number of sets, weights, and so on.
- Note information about changes in your body—total weight, muscle mass, and so on.
- Keep you on track to meet your fitness goals.
A fitness journal is also a place to write down how you feel after a workout. Record any changes you notice in your mood or attitude—you might realize that while you sometimes feel unmotivated before working out, sticking to the habit makes you feel great every time.
Don’t Overdo It
It’s easy to overdo your exercises when starting a new, exciting routine. You may feel great while out on a jog and push yourself to keep going until you’re completely drained, or you might think to lift much more weight than your body can handle. Don’t make these mistakes.
To avoid injuries and strain, start slowly. Even if you feel like you can do more, be cautious. Listen to your body. Take baby steps. It’s never worth risking negative impacts on your health or body. If you’ve never exercised before, overdoing it right away can pose a big risk.
Always Stay Hydrated
An important tip to remember as a beginner is to always stay hydrated:
- Bring water with you whenever and wherever you go working out.
- If you decide to go for a run outside, learn where you can find water fountains.
- Strap a water bottle to your bike.
Staying hydrated is a great health practice in everyday life, but it’s especially important when you exercise. When you work out, you start sweating. Your body needs to replenish those lost fluids to stay healthy and function properly.
Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do for your health. Your body and mind will thank you for making fitness and working out a priority. Remember these essential tips for beginners when getting started. Make sure you push yourself—but don’t overdo it—and speak to professionals who can help you understand the best exercises for you.