Whenever someone tells me “I’m going to start working out”, it’s mostly followed by “I’ll get a gym membership”. The next day or soon after this decision, they will go to the gym and do majority of the lifts known to mankind. I did this too. Let me rephrase that. I made that mistake too. And pretty soon, my progress would come to an abrupt halt. That’s right. It’s a mistake to do everything in one go, be it weight training or cardiovascular exercise. So, to follow a healthier way to start exercising, I will share a brief guide that beginners should follow, one that works if you do. Read on for Working Out: A Simple 5-Step Beginner’s Guide!
There can be so many reasons why we start exercising and do physical activities. Be it for weight loss, strength and muscle gain, improving cardiovascular fitness, perhaps to start playing a sport or just generally to do some exercise. Do think about your own reasons for wanting to start in the first place.
Once you know your purpose and fitness goals, you can easily break down what you need to do to achieve that. Next, you can start planning what you need to do and how frequently you need to do it. Ensure you do a mix of cardiovascular and strength training.
If you’re one of those people who thinks strength training will ‘make you bulky’, perish the thought! Muscle is NOT THAT EASY or quick to build, so don’t worry! I’ll cover that topic further in another article.
Now that you have a workout plan, understand the fundamentals of both strength training as well as cardiovascular exercise.
Just as with the importance of starting with the alphabet in order to progress to reading and writing words, sentences, paragraphs etc., you have to learn the basic building blocks of fundamentals.
Start off with bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, shoulder rotations, standing trunk rotations and lunges because these will prepare and strengthen the muscles of your entire body. The same goes for cardiovascular exercises like running, cycling etc. Start off slow with short, timed workouts before gradually increasing them.
Now that you understand the fundamentals, progress steadily. You can increase repetitions and intensity with your chosen bodyweight exercises, increase the weight in your weight training as well as increase the distance, speed and intensity of your walking, running and cycling. Keep challenging yourself every 2-4 weeks, otherwise you’ll not make progress and hit a plateau.
After the fundamentals, I rate consistency as the second most important among all these. You will see the changes in your body, both physiological as well as psychological, only after you put forth consistent efforts.
The same thing applies to everything you do in life, half-hearted efforts only produce unnoticeable results.
Fitness should be a long term, ideally lifelong affair in order to enjoy health all throughout your life. Your body should be given the utmost care it deserves, it’s one of the single best investments you can make, along with mental training.