If you find that you’ve been lacking energy on a regular basis which you have been unable to remedy with your everyday cup of coffee, then know that you are not alone. Studies indicate that 75 percent of Americans feel tired and lethargic most days of the week. Most of us are caught up in the tumultuous bustle of our lives—we rush from point A to point B and back without taking the time to maintain our bodies and minds. If you’re someone who normally backs away from the idea of exercising, consider paying closer attention to your energy levels and making a commitment to becoming active and fit.
Here are six fitness tips any beginner can use to create a consistent habit of workout success.
Do a Warm-Up Yoga Routine or Stretching Exercise
It is true that some studies have suggested that stretching prior to exercising could inhibit performance for weight lifters, sprinters and other high-level athletes. However, when you are still a fitness novice, this should not be much of a concern for you because your workouts have not yet reached a state of high intensity. As a beginner, your priority should not be how heavy you can lift or how fast you can run; rather, your focus should be building and solidifying a habit. Only once you have established a consistent routine, then you can gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. In the meantime, there are lots of benefits to gentle stretching before working out. It increases your flexibility and warms your muscles before beginning your workout of choice. There are plenty of great YouTube videos with warm-up yoga routines and stretches that will get your muscles feeling limber and ready to move.
Focus on Form, Not Numbers
Many burgeoning fitness enthusiasts become too fixated on the numbers—how much weight you lift, how many miles you can run, how many reps you’re doing, etc. When starting out, focus on perfecting your form before trying to increase reps or duration. Good form prevents injuries and ensures that you will maximize your gains while exercising. In fact, we recommend that any beginner invest in a personal training session at least once in order to learn the proper form for the exercises they will be doing. Personal trainers help establish a good foundation of workout theory and technique as well as tailor your fitness plan to the results you would like to achieve.
Log Your Workouts
Logging workouts may sound tedious, but it is the most effective way to hold yourself accountable. Seeing your efforts in writing ensures that you are staying consistent with your routine. A logbook gives you an objective, realistic picture of how much progress you are making towards achieving your fitness goals.
Don’t Become Gym-Reliant
It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes gyms can get in the way of exercise. The commute from work may be daunting, the wait for machines might hinder your workout, or you may simply get bored of a monotonous gym routine. Try to work in some high energy cardio to mix things up! It’ll provide you with both a change of pace and scenery. You can even shake it to our high-energy dance exercise DVD at home for a balanced and diverse weekly fitness regimen you won’t get sick of.
This one sounds like a no-brainer but too many people forget about this! If you are not having fun on your fitness journey, then it becomes too easy to give up. If you’re having trouble getting into an exercise routine, trick yourself into burning calories by playing sports, going on a hike with a friend, or even volunteering in a rewarding, labor-intensive role. The easiest way to burn calories is to forget that you’re even exercising.
Finishing your workouts the right way can have a big impact on how your body and mind recuperate. Drink plenty of water after exercising in order to make up for all the fluids you lost. Wind down with a short stretching routine to increase muscle flexibility and aide with soreness. Eat a snack that is high in protein — such as plain low-fat yogurt with a mix of berries or peanut butter with banana — to rebuild your muscle mass. Avoid calorie-heavy meals for the rest of the day as well. After all, you don’t want to undo the good work you’ve just put in.
By sticking to these tips, you’ll graduate from being a fitness beginner in no time. Keep checking the Bombay Jam blog site for more tips and discussion around fitness and healthy living.