We all know the benefits of regular physical activity. From lowering the risks associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses, to enhancing psychological health and quality of life, exercise is extremely important. However, despite all the great advantages of maintaining an exercise regimen, too many of us are guilty of leading sedentary lifestyles. Thankfully, though, there are ways even the most out of shape among us can get in shape and stay that way. Keep reading to find out how.
When getting into, or back into, a fitness routine, starting slow is crucial. Going too hard, too soon will only result in injuries and frustration, so remember to pace yourself. However, while it’s important not to go overboard, playing your edge is equally important. By pushing yourself just hard enough, you’ll experience quicker results; in turn, you’ll feel motivated, inspired and determined to keep reaching for your fitness goals.
Also, it’s important to find an activity you actually enjoy, as opposed to trudging through the same old boring workouts. This will help keep you interested, and, before you know it, you’ll actually be looking forward to your workout sessions.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, you probably want to start with low-impact workouts. These types of activities will help you build strength and endurance, without the risk of injury or overexertion. Plus, low-impact workouts place less strain on the joints and other areas of the body, which is beneficial for individuals who are overweight or suffering from conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis. A few great low-impact options include the following:
1. Yoga. Depending on the type of yoga you practice, you could be burning some serious calories, while also building strength, balance and flexibility. For a more intense experience, try Ashtanga or vinyasa yoga; for a more restorative practice, opt for Hatha or Kundalini.
2. Elliptical workouts. The benefits of elliptical exercise include calorie burn, enhanced strength and better endurance, with little impact to the knees and ankles. In fact, elliptical machines can help you burn just as many calories as running and other high-impact workouts, minus the risk of injury.
3. Swimming. When it comes to burning calories and building strength, swimming may not seem like the ideal workout; however swimming really gets the heart pumping, while also targeting all the major muscle groups. Plus, it’s easy on the body, and great for beginners.
4. Dance workouts. Dance workouts are great for torching calories and enhancing muscle tone. What’s more, they’re fun and exciting, and will keep you coming back for more.
Tips for Beginners
In the beginning, an exercise regimen can be difficult. Even when you begin to experience benefits like weight loss, enhanced mood and other great advantages, finding the time and energy to stick to a fitness plan can be challenging. Thankfully, tips like the following can help you stay on track, even in your weakest moments:
1. Eat a balanced diet. An unhealthy diet will zap your energy and reduce the effectiveness of your workouts. On the other hand, a healthy, balanced meal plan will send your energy skyrocketing, improve muscle function, and lend to the overall advantages of regular exercise.
2. Get a workout buddy. A friend or partner can help keep you motivated and accountable, both of which are important to sticking to your fitness plans.
3. Carve out the time. If you’re like many busy adults, finding the time to work out is one of your biggest challenges. However, you can stay on track by making even the shortest workouts work to your advantage. Activities like lunch-time walks, ab workouts right before bedtime, and stair-step workouts on your afternoon breaks will ready add up. So, make every minute count, and you’ll be reaching your goals in no time.
And there you have it: all you need to know about beginning a fitness regimen. Remember to start slow, celebrate the small victories, and enjoy the journey to a fitter, healthier you!