Exercise Tips for Beginners

1.     Stretching matters

If you are new to a workout routine, you might not realize the benefits of flexibility training or stretching. The mentality is, ‘why am I wasting my time stretching when I can be sweating?’  The reality is that stretching is still a workout.  Over time, due to both age and inactivity, muscles, joints and tendons in our body shorten.  Stretching lengthens these tissues and allows to body to achieve a better range of motion.  Better range of motions mean your body is capable of more advanced physical trials.


2.     Even experts should warm up

All it take is 5 minutes to increase your body temperature and warm up your muscles.  Studies have shown that this quick heart rate and temperature increases, decreases your risk of injury. Exercising too hard and too soon, before your body is ready, increases the likelihood of injury which can have you sitting the bench, so to speak, for much longer than the warm-up would have been.  To clarify, warming up is not the same as stretching, so don’t confuse the two.


3.     The cooldown matters too

Just as a warm up is crucial in preventing injury and prepping your body for the impending strain of exercise, a proper cooldown period is also important.  You want to gradually bring your body back to a slower heart rate and a normal breathing pattern.  This means if you are running, slowing down to a trot or walk until you even out these physical outputs.  Give yourself at least a few minutes to get your body back to normal.


4.     Try to create a routine you can stick to

Creating an exercise regimen you can reliably stick to is only going to benefit you in the long run.  You don’t need to worry about putting long hours in the gym, or going for 10 mile runs.  The best thing you can do for yourself is commit to 30 minutes a day.  Building the habit of consistent workouts throughout the week instills good habits, and you are more likely to stick to exercising over a longer amount of time.


5.     Don’t over do it

This cannot be stressed enough. As someone new to working out, it can be easy to try to rush results by choosing workouts that are out of your physical scope. Putting in 3 hours on the first day back to working out after 10 years is definitely not the answer.  You are setting yourself up for failure.  Over doing it can lead to injuries, soreness that lasts for a week and stops you from working out, and overall can be a huge setback for people trying to change their lifestyle.