What's important for a beginner's fitness?
The beginning of a fitness journey often starts with self-evaluation. Do you want to become leaner? Or do you want to gain muscle? Can you look yourself in the eye and say you’re in your prime, both physically and mentally?
While it’s true that social media exposes us to a lot of things – such as far away friends and family who look fitter and healthier than we are – we still have a choice in determining our fitness. We can either view these confronting comparisons as reasons to be less happy with who we are or use them as motivation to be the best we can be.
The most important thing for any budding fitness enthusiast starting your fitness journey is desire; and the right kind of desire. Yes, you want to parade your newly sculpted body on Facebook and Instagram; and yes, you want a few ‘wow’s’ amongst the ‘likes’, but it’s more than that.
The fitness beginner has to want to do it for themselves. Without that inner desire for self-improvement, the gradual daily changes and gains won’t be enough to sustain motivation. Fitness is a physical battle, but it’s also emotional. If you find the right reason to train and the right goal, you’re far more likely to stick to it in the long term.
here are some handy tips for fitness beginners seeking better health and fitness.
What type of exercise to start?
If you’ve led a largely sedentary lifestyle, it doesn’t really matter; the key is to get active on a regular, regimented basis. So start with walking and train in intervals of walk/run to build endurance. Apps such as Couch to 5K give great verbal prompts to help moderate your exertion level. If you struggle with joint pain or arthritis, then choose low impact activities such as swimming can be great for building fitness. Anything that gets your heart rate rising, is strengthening your heart and lungs.
Once you’ve got some basic fitness under your belt, you can progress to the next stage. Aim for a solid 30 minutes of increasing activity to start. Make sure you utilise your phone or a pedometer to measure your time and distance. Remember to make small incremental changes rather than going long distance right from the start.
Hitting the gym
What’s your primary goal? Lifting weights for strength training and better body muscle mass? Or are you after something aerobic and energetic to kick your heart rate into the optimum range for weight and body fat reduction?
Your fitness goals will define your workout program, so make sure you seek early instruction from a qualified gym instructor to ensure you’re burning fat, not just valuable time.
And let’s face it; gyms are very confronting places for first timers. The sooner you get into the safe hands of an expert, the sooner you’ll have a workout routine that lets you focus on yourself and stop worrying about everyone else.
Seriously consider a personal trainer
When you’re starting out as a fitness newbie, a lot can go wrong. You can train too hard too fast and end up injuring yourself. Or you can train at a level that stops the moment fatigue sets in, ultimately reducing your outcomes.
Whether your focus is on aerobic training or strength and resistance training, you have to be challenged to gain results. With a personal trainer watching your every move, you can make sure it’s the right kind of challenge to get your body where it needs to go. Your PT will then work a progressive exercise program to ensure you will reduce your risk of injury. A PT will not only support your physical growth but provide the emotional support you need on hard days.
Change it up
With the advances in app development, there are an incredible amount of options to keep you interested and accountable. Add your PT developed program through an app such as Strong, or try a new workout through Nike+ to find a new way to train both at the gym or at home.
Consistency is the key
Never forget how long it has taken to lose your fitness or gain weight. To expect immediate results will only lead to disappointment. The road to fitness is never a straight line, but the key to success is consistency.