If you haven't noticed, your local gym or fitness studio may have gotten a little extra crowded and will continue to throughout January. The holiday season makes us a all a little ambitious, but those who are new to fitness and exercising must remember not to over do it. Below are some tips for beginners to get the most out of their workouts while avoiding burnout and injury.
- Start out slow. When I first started running, I could barely make it 5 minutes. Now I'm training for my first half. First time on the elliptical? Don't push the resistance too hard. Do an easy 20 minutes and see how you feel. Add on the next day.
- Alternate strength training and cardio. I'm not the best example of that but those who don't work out regularly will feel the effects of yesterdays workout. Opt for a deep stretching yoga class or Pilates. If you choose to do weights, make sure they are not too heavy or too light. I usually use 5 to 8 pounders so I see results but don't strain my back.
- Don't get discouraged, results take time. One of the reasons I started this blog was to promote a healthy way of living, not a quick fix for weight loss I lost a significant amount of weight over the past year naturally. If I missed a workout I didn't cry and if the scale didn't budge, I added some more greens to my diet that week. I firmly believe in doing what I can sustain for the rest of my life. It's not logical for me to workout 3 hours a day forever, so why do it now? No quick fixes for this girl!
- Make sure you hydrate. When I run, I'm guilty of never drinking water and end up gulping some down like a fish when I get home. Try and incorporate water into your workout routine. Hand-held water bottles are great for running and on gym equipment, keep an eye on the clock and take a sip every 10 minutes.
- Grab a buddy! Having a workout or running buddy can increase productiveness, and you get to gossip which definitely make the workout go a little faster. All of the ladies I am running my half with I met through Twitter! Check out local running stores to see if they have run clubs, it's a great way to meet people with the same interests as you.
What are your tips for beginners? Any first-time workout horror stories?