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fitness tips for beginners blog

Fitness tips for beginners

Take the First Step
Maybe you’re not going to be a famous athlete. But you can still set a big fitness goal for yourself, even if you’ve never tried a sport previously. Ideas of fitness goals could be a century ride (a 100-mile bike ride in less than a day). Or you could train for a triathlon (a series of three endurance events, often swimming, running and cycling), or join a sports league.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
First, think about the possibilities. There are lots of activities you could try, and you might discover you love something you never thought you’d do. Dare to train for something really hard and out of your comfort zone.

Start With Small Goals
You might have a big goal you wish to reach one day, like a marathon. The greatest way to get there is to set a series of smaller goals that lead to your big goal. For example, before you sign up for a marathon, set goals to do some 5K races first. And before that, manage to run a mile. Fitness apps can aid you keep track of each great thing you do on your way to your big goal.

Mix Things Up
You may get bored doing the same workout daily. And after you do the identical activity all the time for 6 to 8 weeks, your muscles adapt to it. You burn less calories and build fewer muscles. Try HIIT, it’s not only for athletes: Step up your speed for a minute, then slow down, and repeat. Try strength training and cardio activities like indoor cycling and swimming.

Get Your Doctor’s Approval
If you’re not active now, talk to your doctor before you start exercising if you’re over 55 (women) or 45 (men). It’s also a great idea to get a doctor’s approval if you have a health problem or take regular medication. To avoid burnout and injuries, start working out slowly: 3 days a week for 10-15 minutes. Then progressively add time and intensity.

Eat and Drink for Fuel
Exercise burns extra calories and boosts your metabolism. Make sure to avoid the habits that can ruin your metabolism. Eat every couple of hours like three essential meals plus healthy snacks. Before a workout, snack on carbs (juice, fruit, or yogurt) for rapid energy. After a long, hard workout, restock with a carb/protein mix, like a peanut butter sandwich or a smoothie. Otherwise, keep your meals and snacks light: Try an apple and peanut butter, nuts and yogurt, or an egg on whole-wheat toast.

Drink Enough Water
Unless your workout is really tough or long, you don’t need a special sports drink with electrolytes. Water is more than enough. Drink plenty: If you’re dehydrated, your muscles may cramp, and you elevate your risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Two hours prior exercise; drink about 2 to 3 cups of water. During your routine, drink around 1 cup every 10-20 minutes. Continue drinking after you’re done exercising, too.

Do Strength Training
Even if your goal might center on cardio (a marathon, for example), you should practice strength or resistance training, too. Well-built muscles burn more calories, help prevent injuries, and build stronger bones. Train your muscles on weight machines, with hand-held equipment like free weights, kettlebells, or resistance bands, or by doing exercises like push-ups. Relax each muscle group, such as biceps and triceps, at least 2 days between strength workouts.

Dress for Comfort
You require the right clothes and shoes when you work out. It’s not about looking good, it’s about being comfortable. It’s no fun to walk, run, or bike if you wear flapping sleeves or flimsy shoes. Ask the experts at a sporting goods store for assistance. Search for fabrics that draw moisture away from your body, not sweat-absorbing cotton. In cold temperatures, wear layers that you can peel off as you warm up.

Learn Proper Form
Whether you’re weightlifting or running, it’s easy to get hurt if your technique is wrong. Don’t assume you’re exercising the correct way, especially if your routine is causing you pain. If your gym has fitness or trainers staff, they may be able to watch you exercise and give you advice on improving your technique. Or you can read fitness articles or find online videos that show correct techniques.

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist

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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian