The Beginner’s Guide to Exercise – for the New Year

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The new year is the perfect time to reset your workout routine. 

Many people begin an exercise program, but abandon it before Easter. However, you can increase your chances for long-term success if you follow these six simple tips to achieve your fitness goals.

1) Determine Your Readiness

You are most likely to enjoy success with a new exercise regime if you have confidence in your exercise ability, if you have support from those around you and if you participate in an exercise that you enjoy!

Make sure you’re both physically and mentally ready to start an exercise program. Tell your doctor you want to begin a fitness programme and you want to make sure you’re healthy enough to start. This will give you the confidence to get going!

2) Get Planning!

Before you start your exercise program, think about when you will exercise? Stick with those days so you are working out at the same time each week.  You’ll have even more success if you team up with a friend and exercise at the same time. An exercise partner provides you with a support system, a positive social experience and inspiration. There will be times when you don’t feel like working out and a partner can be just the motivation you need to get going.

Also consider what type of exercise will you do? The best type of exercise is one you enjoy. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing; pick an exercise that works for you…walking, swimming, cycling, martial arts, yoga – or even pole dancing!

3) How to Start

Think of your resolution as a lifelong commitment to a healthier lifestyle. You are much more likely to be successful if you take it easy at the beginning.

For example; start with a five-minute morning stretch and end the day with another five-minute stretch. Each day, add another minute of stretching and once you reach 10 minutes, it’s time to add cardio exercises. That can be running, or even walking briskly, on a treadmill for 10 minutes; you need your heart rate to increase so the blood will pump through your body.
Going for a walk is a great place to start. After you have done this for a couple of weeks, you can progress to doing some simple body-weight exercises. These could be squats, lunges, push-ups and side planks to help strengthen your body before you start doing the higher intensity training.

4) Keep on Top of the H2O!
Your mental and physical health will improve if you are well hydrated. Y
our daily water intake will depend on your gender, weight, air temperature and whether you eat many water-dense foods. Remember the water you consume during exercise is immediately used to rehydrate the body. It is ideal to drink a glass of water before starting exercise and then have half a glass every 15 minutes. Keeping hydrated will seriously improve your performance when exercising.

5) Eating Well
Good nutrition is important when exercising as it provides energy for the activities. The food you eat can also contribute to your recovery between exercise sessions and help repair any damaged muscle tissue sustained during activity.

6) Be Realistic

One of the biggest problems with New Year’s resolutions is they can be extremely impractical. Setting goals is a great idea, but make sure they are realistic and feasible. Start slow (i.e. low intensity and duration), develop a solid foundation of fitness and then build upon that foundation as your fitness improves. Don’t fall in to the trap of making the following mistakes:

  • feeling like you have to make up for lost time (overdoing exercise can result in injury and pain – you don’t need to break records yet!)
  • scheduling a race (save this for further down the track when your body is ready for the challenge)
  • not fuelling properly (without eating, you’ll not only feel foggy-headed and lethargic, and your metabolism will slow down).
  • Falling back to your old ways (if lack of motivation is what brought upon the workout hiatus, it’s time to re-evaluate your routine and find ways to spice it up so you can’t stay away)

Have fun getting active! And don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any concerns about injuries, niggles, discomfort – anything that might be inhibiting your 2018 exercise plans.

Happy New Year!

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