Workouts for People Who Have Never Worked Out

Workouts for People Who Have Never Worked Out

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Gym staff can help you acclimate quickly to appropriate beginner's level workouts.

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If you have never worked out before, walking into a gym might seem like a daunting experience. Find comfort in knowing that you share something in common with every individual you see training in the gym - the decision to adopt a healthier, more fit lifestyle. Congratulate yourself for making the decision, and then gradually acclimate to a beginner's workout that will include cardiovascular exercise, light strength training and stretching. Though working out at a gym is not a necessity, members and staff can help keep you motivated and accountable as you begin this new journey.

Pick Your Cardio

Cardiovascular exercise includes activities like walking, running, cycling, dancing and swimming. To maintain good heart health, you want to work your way up to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week. Choose the cardiovascular activity you enjoy most. Treadmill walking is an effective low-impact option when you are starting out. Begin with at least 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least three times each week. Slowly increase your time and intensity as your fitness level improves.

Build Some Strength

Strength training increases your muscle mass and bone density, and helps you burn more calories. Include light strength training in your workouts at least two days each week. Do exercises that target your upper body one day and your lower body another day. Use a set of lightweight dumbbells to do bicep curls, triceps extensions, chest presses, and shoulder presses during your upper body day. Use a set of lightweight dumbbells to do lunges, squats and calf raises on your lower body day. As you begin, try to strength train with only the weight of your body by doing pushups for your upper body, and bodyweight lunges and squats for your lower body. Only do one set of eight to 12 repetitions when you start. Ask a personal trainer at the gym to introduce you to these exercises and watch your form the first few times you try them.

Stretch it Out

Stretching increases your range of motion and may also decrease your risk of exercise-related injury. Many beginners find that stretching also makes them less vulnerable to soreness. Stretching only requires a few minutes and should be done three to seven days each week. Incorporate stretching on the days you are doing your cardiovascular exercise. After your muscles are warm, spend 10 to 30 seconds holding positions that stretch the muscles you use during your workouts. Stretches for your hamstrings, quadriceps and calves are effective choices after walking, dancing or cycling.

Get Some Advice

Consult with your doctor before you begin an exercise program. Talk to a fitness professional at the gym before you start as well so that he can perform a fitness assessment. Once you understand your current fitness level, you and your personal trainer can set realistic fitness goals that you can realize by following an individualized program. Remember that your fitness level is unique to you. Your level of intensity is unique to you as well. Work into your program slowly. Challenge yourself without overexertion and you will begin to shift into a fitter, healthier you.