Kudos to you for starting or thinking of beginning your fitness journey. This can be an overwhelming time but know the process is well worth it. As your health improves so will your body. Take a moment to think safety before starting! Here a five quick tips to get you started:
- Warm up and cool down -Give yourself adequate time to warm up before each workout. If you’re doing legs, focus more on the legs and if you are doing upper focus more on the upper. The main focus should be on getting the body temperature elevated and muscles loose in preparation for the workout. Dynamic warm-ups work well before workouts and stretches will loosen the muscles afterwards. Starting an exercise cold without prep can add extra stress to the muscle especially if they are tight. Give yourself 8-10 minutes.
- Use a spotter– When performing certain lifts like the bench press, squat, or movements where you are putting yourself in an uncompromising position ask for a spot if you cant lift the weight comfortably. The last thing you want is the weight crushing you.
- Form over weight-Its ideal to stay in that 60-85% max range for lifts some would say, but first lets practice form. Make sure the lift is being performed properly and you can manage the set before going heavy and risking the weight falling on you.
- Know your limits-Know when to stop. Know when your body is tired and in pain. Know when you are past the point of exertion. Yes Its fine to push yourself hard in a workout but if your muscles are fatigued to the limit, one more set could cause a muscle to give out. Picture yourself squatting and as you’re coming back up with the weight on your back, you fail. This could injure your back, knees, and more. Save the hospital bill!
- Seek Help-If you are new to training, haven’t used cardio equipment, or just need someone there to help, seek out a certified personal trainer. In some bigger gyms they provide trainers help and a free session upon request. Otherwise, look for a trainer who is credentialed, gets results, and has great reviews. The most important thing to learn is how to exercise and push yourself without needing assistance. You should feel empowered to do it on your own and know you are in safe hands.
Take these five tips into consideration. I wish you well on your journey!