Aside from a healthy diet and limited consumption of toxic food and beverage, exercise is one of the best things you can do to take care of your body. However, to start exercising takes more than just promises and new year’s resolutions written in your journal. It requires determination, discipline, time, and effort.
If you are thinking of finally working out this year, we have written exercising tips for beginners that you might find helpful!
Why you should exercise?
Exercise is powerful.
Regular exercise and physical activities can significantly improve your health. It lowers the risks of developing some diseases and medical conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. It also helps your body maintain the appropriate weight and muscle mass.
Additionally, research also shows that exercise has a positive effect on our mental health. It lifts our mood, helps us sleep better, and even shows promising results in enhancing our sex life.
Four Types of Exercises
Each type of exercise has different benefits. Doing just one can give you the ability to do the other and this increases the variety and reduces risks of injury. If you can and you are at the right age, right physical condition, and the right mentality, you can do all four.
Endurance exercises, also referred to as aerobic, are activities that increase your breathing and heart rate. Endurance exercises help improve your fitness and are important in performing everyday tasks.
Endurance activities keep the health of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy. They also prevent numerous diseases that are common in older adults such as diabetes, colon and breast cancers, and heart disease.
Endurance activities include:
- Brisk walking
- Mowing or raking (yard work)
- Climbing (stairs or hills)
- Playing tennis or basketball
Before and after your endurance activities, make sure to warm up and cool down by performing light activities such as easy walking. It’s also important to remember that endurance activities should not cause dizziness, chest pain or pressure, or feeling heartburn.
And for every activity that makes you shed sweat, remember to compensate by drinking lots of fluids. If your doctor has restricted you from intaking too much liquid, be sure to check before increasing your fluid intake.
Muscular strength plays a big role in our daily lives and it does make a difference. It helps you stay independent and make everyday activities easier. Unconsciously, we use our muscle strength in even the simplest of actions such as getting up from a chair or climbing the stairs.
Maintaining your muscle strength helps with your balance and prevents falls that can lead to injuries. Some people use weight to improve muscle strength. This is called “strength training” or “resistance training.”
Some examples of strength exercises include:
- Weight lifting
- Carrying groceries
- Gripping a tennis ball
- Overhead arm curls
- Wall push-ups
- Use of resistance bands
If you are unsure of any strength exercises, consult with your healthcare provider, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions. Also remember, to breathe regularly during the exercises and don’t hold your breath.
Falling is a common problem, especially for older adults and this can lead to mild to serious injuries. This is why it’s important to perform balance exercises, as well as lower body strength exercises, to improve balance.
Balancing activities include:
- Tai Chi, a moving meditation that involves moving the body slowly and gently while deeply breathing.
- Standing on one foot
- Heel-to-toe walk
- Balance walk
- Standing from a seated position
If you are unsteady, make sure to have a person assisting you while doing these balancing exercises.
Flexibility exercises include stretching. This helps you move more freely and perform simple tasks such as reaching down to tie your shoes or looking over your shoulder as you back out of your car. Flexibility exercises also help muscle recovery, maintain range of motion, and prevent injuries.
Flexibility exercises include:
- Muscle-stretch movements
Don’t forget to stretch when the muscles are warmed up and after endurance or strength exercises. When holding a stretch, remember to breathe normally and don’t strength too much that it hurts.
Exercising Tips for Beginners
Before starting a new workout routine, there are a few things you need to remember.
- Health check
Before starting any workout or exercise routine, consult your healthcare provider first and have a physical medical examination. This is a must, especially if you are planning to do strenuous physical activities. The medical examination can detect any hidden health problems or conditions that could endanger you while you exercise.
A health check will tell you your limitations so you can tailor a more specific workout routine.
- Stay hydrated
Even when you are not exercising, it’s important to stay hydrated during the day. What more when you are exercising? Don’t forget to bring with you a bottle/bottles of water when you work out, especially when you are exercising at a hot temperature.
Hydrating after a workout will help you recover and help your body cope with the next workout session.
- Balanced diet
Exercise goes hand in hand with a balanced diet so make sure to optimize your meal to support your fitness routine.
All food groups are needed to sustain healthy energy levels. The commonly most important are carbs as they fuel your muscles before exercise. Aside from carbs, proteins are also important to hasten muscle recovery, tissue damage repairs, and build muscle mass after the training session.
- Warm-up and Cool down
Sometimes people don’t realize how important warm-ups and cool-downs are and this is why this should be in every exercising tips for beginners.
Warming up before exercise sessions prevent injuries and have a significant effect on your performance. It also helps improve flexibility and reduce pain and soreness after the sessions.
Simple warm-up exercises can be aerobic activities such as arm swings, leg kicks, and walking lunges. It can be light and easy activities such as an easy walk before shifting into a full jog or run.
Cool-downs function the same. After a vigorous workout session, what cool-downs do is help your body return to its normal condition, such as normal breathing patterns, and even reduce muscle soreness.
Some cool-downs can be light walking after aerobic exercise or stretching after a resistance training session.