(Black PR Wire) – What most personal trainers will say is the key to working out is to start. You’ve got to begin to be great.
But many of us don’t want to start exercising (or stop) because we don’t know what really works or how to begin in the ﬁrst place. Beginning an exercise program can be very overwhelming – even painful if you aren’t careful.
So we’ve created a few key areas (and even a sample workout) that will help anyone get a good workout in and lose your ﬁrst 20 pounds.
Warming your body up prior to exercise is very important for your health (and safety) and will also help you enjoy your workouts more. Warming up for 5-10 minutes will raise your body temperature and prepare your cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems for the demands of exercise by slowly increasing the blood circulation to and from your heart and muscles.
Warming up helps your connective tissues better handle the stress of exercise, decreasing your chance of injury. Connective tissue is similar to hard plastic; if you don’t warmup plastic it won’t be flexible, and is much more likely to “break.”
Proper warm-ups (and cool downs) also help reduce the severity of soreness in the next day or two following your workout.
The increased blood flow helps deliver more oxygen to the muscles and gets rid of the waste products that contribute to soreness. Increased blood flow also helps bring more fuel to your body, resulting in better performance.
Warm-up with a low-impact exercise at a slower, more comfortable pace than your actual workout. Warm-up exercises like biking, an elliptical machine, walking, or rowing allow your body to warm up with limited stress to your joints.
Another reason for soreness is trying to do too much too soon. Don’t try to make up for lost time. Start out with a few exercises and slowly progress.
Your body will gradually adapt to the increased stress. If you are starting resistance training for the ﬁrst time, try picking 1-2 exercises for each area of the body – the upper body, lower body, and core. Also, take into consideration the anterior (front) and posterior (back) parts of the body.
For example, if you pick two core exercises, you might try bicycle crunch for the abdominals (front of the body) and lumbar extension for the lower back (posterior part of the body).
Choose the right weight. If your form breaks down before the last 10-20% of your repetitions then you are using too much weight and you still need to be ﬁghting to keep that form solid for those last few movements as well.
Here’s a sample weight lose exercise program (alternate workouts each week, 3 times a week):
Squats 3 sets of 8-10 reps. 2 minutes rest between sets. Bench Press 3 sets of 8-10 reps. 2 minutes rest between sets. Rows 3 sets of 8-10 reps. 2 minutes rest between sets.
Deadlifts 3 sets of 8-10 reps. 2 minutes rest between sets. Pull-Ups (or Lat Pull-Downs) 3 sets of 8-10 reps. 2 minutes rest between sets. Overhead Shoulder Press 3 sets of 8-10 reps. 2 minutes rest between sets.
If you are a beginner to aerobic training, start out with something like walking that raises your heart rate a little bit, nothing that will get you too out of breath.
Try doing this for 10 minutes the ﬁrst few times you exercise, slowly progressing the duration of the workout. If you’ve increased the time to a point where you can handle 30 minutes at that pace, start building a little more intensity. For example, you could attempt 2 or 3 days of 30 minutes each at your initial pace, followed by a 10-minute day at an increased intensity.
Another area of frustration for the beginner is energy level. Most people expect to exercise the ﬁrst few weeks and experience a shot of energy.
In actuality, the opposite often occurs. Your body isn’t used to the added stress, which causes you to feel fatigued and even drained, especially if you overdo it.
Don’t get discouraged; it’s natural to feel this way until your body adapts. As your body acclimates itself, your cardiovascular system will become more conditioned, causing you to have more energy and focus throughout the day. Your efforts will pay off.
KNOW SORENESS Overexertion will trigger stiffness and soreness, causing many people to give up on exercise completely. If you do overdo it, there are a few things you can do to feel better.
Exercise actually breaks your muscles down – sleep, nutrition, and hydration play a vital role in their recovery. Proper rest, refueling your body with healthy food, and drinking plenty of water will help you recover much more quickly.
In the days that follow, doing a low impact exercise at a low to moderate intensity and stretching will deliver more oxygen and blood to help clean out the waste and bring more nutrients to your muscles.