If you’re not someone who’s naturally skinny, there’s going to come to a point in your life where you want to diet or begin picking up exercising as a habit. For someone who was an athlete in high school or even college, working out is just something you’re used to doing.
You might fade out a little bit once you hit that retirement age and realize you’re not going to the pros’, but you’re seasoned in cardio, HIIT, weightlifting, and keeping your body healthy. For someone who didn’t grow up in an atmosphere with coaches, trainers, and competitive teammates, starting up exercising can be tough.
You’re going to want to start slowly, so don’t dive into a Cross Fit class with your friend who has a six-pack. Not only will you leave with your muscles completely numb, but also you’re going to be turned off from exercise. Instead, take in some of these tips and get started at your own pace.
Make sure you really warm-up
Don’t get so excited about the new lifestyle that you completely skip warming up. It will only take you 10 minutes, but it will save your visits to the top physical therapist and athletic injury specialist (MOTUS) in the area. You’d be in good hands, but do you really want to get injured the first time you ever step foot into a gym?
Stretch every single muscle you have and warm them up slowly. Since you’ve never worked out before, or haven’t in a long period of time, your muscles are going to be tighter than someone who does this daily. Really focus on your hamstrings, calves, glutes, because those sore muscles will put you out for a day minimum. Jog, stretch and perform basic workouts as your warm up. You can find many detailed warm-ups online.
Don’t take on too much
Don’t be the person who does arms, legs, chest, and core day all in the span of 2 hours. You’re going to tire yourself out and you won’t be able to get back to the gym for a week. Start small and work your way up. If you want to lift weights, that’s fine, but focus on one central goal rather than trying to make yourself into a bodybuilder with one workout.
If you’ve never gone for a run before, try running a mile and then if you feel good after that, walk some more. You might feel great at the moment, but pushing your body too hard too quickly can leave you in considerable pain later on.
Mix up your workouts
Many people fall into a workout routine that leaves their weight loss or fitness goals at a standstill. When you do the same exact thing, like running 2 miles every day, your body gets used to the movements and after a while, it doesn’t change your body in any considerable way.
You might be burning 200 extra calories, which is good, but you can be doing more. Switch it up with weight lifting workouts, swimming laps, bike riding, rowing, walking an incline, or doing yoga. The different exercises hit different parts of your body and can build muscles where other workouts can’t. They also affect your heart in different ways, a factor that’s good for your overall heart health.
Don’t forget to eat right
If you’ve never sweat it out before, you may think that a drenched shirt means you can now go eat a burger and fries with no consequence. Unless you just ran 10+ miles at a very quick pace, that’s not true. People often overestimate the number of calories they’re burning during a workout based on the amount of sweat they see. It’s actually a lot harder to burn a ton of calories than you might think. If you have an Apple Watch or Fitbit, utilize the calorie burn tool so you can manage your food intake against the data.