Starting an exercise routine for the first time can be daunting, especially if you have no prior experience working out. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or, worse, try to do too much at once which sets you up for injury. As you embark on your journey toward fitness, here are some things you should be aware of.
See Your Doctor
If you haven’t had your yearly physical, you should schedule one before you start your exercise routine. Regular exercise can help you manage illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, but you have to be careful. If you have any of these illnesses, and they aren’t being properly treated, exercise can actually make your condition worse. Many of these diseases have very few symptoms, so it is possible to have them and not know it until you have a heart attack while exercising. This is why it’s important to have a thorough health screening before you start an exercise program, especially if you have never exercised before.
Consult with a Fitness Professional
You don’t necessarily need to hire a personal trainer for every exercise session, but it’s a good idea to consult with one at least once, in the beginning. A personal trainer can assess your fitness level and show you how to use the machines. A trainer can also help you avoid many of theat the gym. If you have a condition, like heart disease, he can also work with your doctor to help you create a program that is both effective and safe.
Scout the Facility
If you join a gym, you want to make sure the facility has everything you need, beyond the machines on the fitness floor. If you have mobility issues, is the space easy to navigate? If you have a heart condition, do they have automatic electronic defibrillators (AEDs) onsite, do they work, and do they regularly maintenance theand other parts? If you are self-conscious about your body, do they provide private changing and shower facilities? If you don’t feel comfortable, or safe, in the fitness environment, you will be less likely to go.
It’s tempting to jump in with both feet and try to do all the exercises all at once; but if you haven’t exercised much, if ever, it’s going to take you a while to get up to speed. Rushing the process isn’t going to get you where you want to be any faster, it’ll just get you injured.
One rule of thumb is to keep your intensity in the moderate range during aerobic exercise. On a scale of one to ten, you would rank this activity at about a five. Another way to put it is, if you are out of breath, but still able to say two full sentences without gasping for air, that’s about medium intensity.
You should also start with moderate resistance when lifting weights. As with the aerobic exercise, this is activity that you would rate as a five on a one-ten scale. Another way to look at it is that you should be able to do at least two sets of ten to fifteen reps of any given exercise, and the last two or three reps of each set should be the hardest. If you run out of gas in the first few reps of the first set, the weights are probably too heavy.
When taking a fitness class, you should always work at your own pace and focus on your own progress. If you focus on everyone else you might feel pressure to push yourself harder than you should. Remember, these classes do have a learning curve, and it’s likely that a lot of those people have been participating for a long time, and can do the routines in their sleep. If you keep at it you will eventually get there. You’ll lose the frustration of being new, and gain all the.