Here a 5 tips for people who have never exercised before or haven’t for a while and want to know how and where to start.
1) Find your baseline – Don’t go all out straight away. Find your base line or the level of fitness you are starting at. Work out what you are capable of and build from there. Pushing yourself too hard too soon puts you at risk of injury and may create a ‘never again’ attitude due to the exhaustion and aching afterwards.
2) Warm up – Warming up is vital to prevent injury and help your body perform to its full potential. Try a few dynamic stretches such as lunges or squats to start raising your heart rate and get blood and oxygen moving to the major muscle groups. This prepares your body for higher intensity exercise.
3) Cool down – As important as warming up, this promotes recovery and prevents injury. A few minutes gentle cardio at the end of a work out will lower your heart rate gradually. This allows toxins such as lactic acid (which causes the burn) to be pumped away from your muscles. This combined with a few stretches will help ease the achy muscles.
4) Fuel your body – Eating a healthy balanced diet is vital. Your body needs food for energy, growth and repair. Drink lots of water, before, during and after exercise. This will help speed up your metabolism and keep everything running smoothly. It will also make your workouts easier as better hydration improves the function of your heart and energy systems.
5) Just do something – Try out different styles and ways of exercising. Find out what works for you and what you enjoy. Do you prefer running, rowing or circuits? Also variety in your workouts will have greater benefits than sticking to one routine. Just do something. The hardest part is getting off the sofa but doing something is better than doing nothing. You won’t regret it!
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