If you are new to the wonderful world of fitness, then it can be incredibly daunting to get into an exercise routine. Knowing which exercises are going to give you the results you desire, and building up the confidence to get started, can be difficult!
Even though it may seem hard at first, getting into fitness is a great way to improve your physical health, your emotional wellbeing, and also your confidence in other areas of your life. It can quickly turn from a habit into a passion, and take you on a whole new journey through life.
The Very First Step
The very first step before you embark upon any new exercise regime is to know what your goals and intentions are. You may want to lose weight, you may want to build muscle, you might want to improve your cardiovascular fitness, or something else entirely!
Spend some time thinking about your goals and then write them down. It can then be helpful to get really specific with these goals. By this I mean, if your goal is to lose weight, then also decide how much weight you want to lose, when you want to lose this amount of weight by, and also why this goal is so important to you.
The essential thing to remember when it comes to succeeding at your fitness goal or goals, is that it must become your top priority! If you say you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness, but then shy away from the cardio aspects of your workout, then you are likely not going to reach this goal.
Choosing a Workout
Once you know what your main goal is, you can then set about devising a workout plan that is going to help you to reach this goal. Let's take a look at some common aims and examine the best ways to reach them.
This is one of the most popular reasons that people exercise. Losing weight can help to boost body confidence, which in turn can help us to feel more self-assured. Losing excess weight to reach an ideal range will also mean that you are protecting your health in a vast number of ways.
It is a good idea to engage in a combination of cardiovascular and weight training exercises when you want to lose weight. Cardiovascular exercises, such as running, swimming, and cycling are fantastic for burning calories. However, the importance of building muscle is also not to be overlooked when trying to lose weight. Muscle burns more calories than fat, even when the body is resting. This means that hitting the weights will go a long way to helping you reach this goal.
It is a good idea to engage in vigorous exercise at least three times a week for weight loss.
There are generally two main reasons that people want to build muscle. The first is to get stronger and the second is to tone the body.
If you want to get stronger then it is arguably best to do this slowly by lifting moderately heavy weights for a high number of repetitions. On the other hand, if you want to build your physique relatively quickly, then lifting very heavy weights for fewer repetitions can help you to achieve this. Consulting a personal trainer is a great way to get a specific workout for your goals.
Improving Cardiovascular Fitness
If you want to boost your cardiovascular fitness then you have no choice but to engage in cardiovascular exercise! If this is new to you then of course it's best to start slow, but you will have to work up to exerting a great deal of energy. For example, if you choose running, then you can either try running at a moderate intensity continuously for an extended period of time, or running at a high intensity for short bursts with periods of rest in between. The latter of these two options is referred to as interval training.
Plan for Progress
When you are getting started with fitness it is important to be kind to yourself. Don't go too hard at once, and allow yourself an ample amount of time between workouts for your body to recover. If you don't, then you may find you quickly lose your enthusiasm for your new routine.
Keep things fresh, mix things up and do not be afraid to try new things!
It is also helpful to remember that the rate at which you see results may not match your expectations. It is going to take a few weeks to a few months before your progress becomes apparent, so do not be disheartened if you think it's going rather slowly. It is important to remind yourself that you have made an incredibly positive step forwards by getting into fitness, and that your body and mind will thank you if you persist with your efforts!