Starting from scratch or getting back on track, it’s good to have a little help. Here’s how to ease into fitness by avoiding beginners mistakes.
You know the underlying cause of many sports injuries? It’s trying to do too much, too soon.
There’s no hurry, you hear? There Is No Hurry.
Maybe you’ve never trained, or haven’t in a long time, but here’s a secret:
- You do not need to make up for lost time.
Start slowly and listen to your body, which means:
- Don’t lift weights that seem too heavy
- Don’t stretch too far if you’re not limber enough yet.
Can’t walk that far? Don’t.
Ease into fitness by avoiding beginners mistakes.
- Start off with short distances (10-15 minutes round trip) and build from there, by increasing the time and distance/time once a week.
Inexperience in any activity can lessen its effectiveness, and can also be dangerous.
- Read up on the subject, consult a trainer, ask me, or ask the staff at your gym.
No one will criticize you for wanting to get the most out of your workout, and asking a question is a lot less painful than the injury you could suffer from not asking.
There are many websites, including this one, that offers helpful articles and instructional videos on how to do exercises correctly. Just make sure the information is explained by qualified, certified, licensed exercise physiologists.
If you’d like help from me, simply fill out the “Contact Me” Form listed on the menu at the top of any page.
Let me know the type of guidance you need, and I’ll work with you to help you meet your goals, send you cheat-sheets and instructional videos and even speak with you on the phone or by email. There is never a fee for my services.
“I’ll start tomorrow” is a common phrase for beginning exercisers who put off the start of their fitness activities by waiting for the “right moment.”
- Another issue is putting off your exercise “until later in the day,” but never actually getting to it.
For the “start tomorrow” syndrome — the best time to start is right now.
- Don’t keep putting off your exercise for another day.
- As for when you “should” do your exercise, choose the time that’s right for you, put it on your calendar and do it.
Regardless of your work schedule, day/night, think of it as a regular appointment to be kept like any other.
- Prepare to keep your commitment to yourself. If you plan to go to the gym after work, take your gear with you to the office.
- Stopping at home to change your clothes, have a snack or tidy up the house is likely to land you on the couch watching a rerun of your favorite TV show instead of working out.
So, maybe you buy a treadmill, stair-stepper or elliptical machine(the best, because it works in levels and slowly increases the workout, thus avoiding injury) and every morning before work you get up at 5 a.m. to start walking.
- The first three minutes feel like an hour — you don’t know how you’re going to make it to 10 minutes, much less 30.
- If you’re on the treadmill or elliptical, find a special TV series you watch only when you’re exercising.
- Or maybe it’s reading all your magazines and newspapers on your tablet.
- Work out with a partner
- Hire a personal trainer (more expensive does not mean better)
- Create workout music lists
- Keep track of your progress using a smartphone app
- Even the most challenging workouts can get boring after a while. Jump on a different machine, take a new class or take your workout outdoors.
5. Working without a Plan
You finally make it to the gym, but you don’t even know where to start.
- Tip: If you think you can just “wing it” — it’s not likely. Do not use any equipment unless or until you are taught how to use it correctly and progressively.
- Know what you’re going to do BEFORE you get to the gym or before you start any exercise routine.
- It’s also important to set goals. I recommend that you set one goal at a time, to be completed within 2 weeks, to give your body time to get the message that yes, you’re serious about this and it should start burning fat.
6. Lack of Consistency
You exercise once and believe it should have some immediate effect — like losing weight.
Don’t laugh! It has happened many times…did I tell you about …..
- Pick an activity or activities that you can do at least three days a week for months at a time to get real sustainable results.
That’s why it’s important to try several types of exercise routines and make sure you really like the one(s) you finally choose.
Faster, Harder, Hotter, DOES NOT mean BETTER or more effective.
The most important aspect of improving your health through exercise is CONSISTENCY.
Commit, Plan, Do, See Results.
- You make your exercise avoidable and easy to skip.
- Make sure you pick a fitness center where you feel comfortable and that is close to your home or office.
If you don’t like to exercise at a fitness center, that’s OK.
- Find a spot at home and create your own home gym, or at the very least, buy an exercise machine such as a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical (P.S. They do not have to be the expensive models). Movement is Movement.
“I’m too tired;” “I have no time” — there are so many excuses.
- Bust the excuses
I’ve written about this so many times…and still I read or hear about at least one new, creative “reason” not to exercise every week…often 3 or 4. People are innovative!
- Come up with every single excuse you can imagine for not exercising…
- Then write down an excuse buster.
- If you keep coming up with new excuses, bust them one at a time.
The Final Fix
There is no timetable for reaching your goals written in the stars. You know your body, you know your tolerance level, you know the concerns you’re trying to address by exercising and practicing good nutrition. You Know This. And, knowledge is power.
Forget the latest diet fads and “exercise gurus” without adequate credentials. Do the best you can, where and how you can, and if you’re truly just starting out or started and then quit in the past, I’m here to help.
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