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Healthy eating and exercise for life

Fitness Tips for Exercise Novices

In order to become healthier you not only need to eat well but you also need to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.  If you’re new to exercise, give yourself a pat on the back for taking the first step to getting fit. Before you begin a fitness routine it’s always best to consult with your doctor. He or she can guide you along the way and help prevent injury. Now, read on for some important to tips to ensure you get the most out of your workout.

Stretch it out! 

Stretching will not only prevent injury and pain after a workout, it will also improve your flexibility.  If you usually stretch before a workout, make sure to warm up your muscles before you begin.  If you stretch on cold muscles you’re likely to overexert your muscles and pull something.  The warm-up doesn’t have to be intense – walk on the treadmill for 5 to 10 minutes or do some light cycling on a stationary bicycle.  It’s always a good idea to stretch your muscles after you workout, too.  Whether you stretch before or after a workout, make sure the movements are static and you’re not bouncing back and forth.  Simply hold each pose for 5 to 10 seconds and release.  It’s natural to feel a slight strain when you hold the position but it should not be painful.  Also, make sure to breath naturally while you’re stretching and avoid holding your breath.

Combine Cardio Exercise and Strength Training

Some people enjoy taking an aerobics class while others prefer to lift weights.  To reap the full benefits of a fitness routine you need both components – cardiovascular exercise and strength training.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to do both everyday.  Try alternating the different types of training every other day.  If you exercise five days a week you could do cardio Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and strength training on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The two types of exercise have different benefits and different results.  Cardio training helps strengthen your cardiovascular system, (reducing your risk of heart disease) and it will also help burn those added calories.  Strength training helps build muscle mass, giving your body a toned appearance. 

Start Slow

You can’t expect to run 5 miles the first time you go for a run.  Start small and add more time to your routine every week - even 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise will benefit your heart.  Becoming fit is a process and it won’t happen overnight.  If you start slowly and allow yourself time to become accustomed to the new routine you’re more likely to stick with it.  More importantly, try to find something you enjoy doing.  If you’re having fun, exercise won’t seem like something you need to do but rather something you want to do. 

Hydrate

In order to avoid dehydration it’s important to consume water before and after you workout.  Don’t wait until you’ve reached the point of thirst.  Dehydration can cause fatigue and diminish your ability to exercise properly.  Make sure you drink adequate amounts of fluids throughout the day – whether you’re exercising or not. 

It’s great that you’ve decided to make your health a priority.  By eating well and incorporating exercise into your daily routine you’ll be on your way to better health.  Don’t get down on yourself if it takes time getting accustomed to a new exercise routine.  Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!