Just Starting a Workout Regimen? 5 Tips for Beginners

Making the decision to implement a workout regimen into your daily routine is the first step to committing to a healthier lifestyle. Living an active life is key in maintaining good health, and will ultimately leave you looking, and feeling, your best. If you’ve ever had trouble shedding the extra pounds, chances are, you’ve probably become a bit discouraged with the whole process. But don’t let that prevent you from getting off the couch and making a commitment to pursuing your best life possible. Here are five tips for beginning a workout routine.

1. Talk to your doctor if you have any medical conditions

a doctor holding a tablet

Your doctor can probably point you in the right direction on which workouts are best for you. | iStock.com

If you’ve had health problems in the past, or are currently experiencing issues due to an unhealthy weight or poor lifestyle, it’s essential that you first chat with your doctor before beginning any new fitness routine. Even if you feel like you’ve got it under control, and you’re more than capable of hitting the gym on your own, you can never be too sure about what potential problems might lay ahead. A drastic change in lifestyle isn’t always welcome by your mind, body, or abilities, so having the conversation prior to lacing up those sneakers is key. According to the Center for Disease Control, you should consult your doctor regarding appropriate physical activity if you have a chronic disease, such as a heart condition, arthritis, diabetes, or high blood pressure.    

2. Work out every day

a gym

Workout consistently so it will start to feel like a routine rather than torture. | iStock.com

Establishing a consistent workout routine will eventually turn it into a habit. If you commit to doing something active at least once a day for seven days straight, it will become routine. As recommended by Liz Neporent, trainer and co-author of The Fat-Free Truth, beginners should aim for 30 minutes of cardio every day, along with strength training twice a week for two to three months.

3. Reduce sedentary time and factor exercise into your schedule

Man setting timer for workout

Get up and get out! | iStock.com

Too many people are living a sedentary life, with long hours sitting behind a desk and working the day away — it’s no news that sitting is slowly killing you. Just as people have realized they need to quit smoking, they are now too coming to the realization that another major factor in their daily routine needs to change. In looking for opportunities to reduce sedentary time and increase active time, you’ll start noticing significant changes in the state of your health. For instance, rather than plopping on the couch to watch TV after dinner, go for a walk around your neighborhood.

4. Stay loose

working out

Stretching is key. | iStock.com

If you’re just starting out, or getting back into the gym, it’s important you’re not too overly-eager, and ensure that you’re not tensing up with each workout. In this Fitness Magazine article, Tina Vindum, founder of Outdoor Action Fitness in Marin County, California, said, “If you’re white-knuckle-gripping the bars on the bike and clenching your teeth, you’re wasting a lot of energy.” To help prevent this, Vindum suggests relaxing the muscles you’re not working on directly, and putting focus on those you are, which will maximize your results.

5. Break up your daily activity goal

Man proud of his workout

Break up your workout tasks if it feels like too much. | iStock.com

Reaching physical goals can be a daunting task, so don’t feel overwhelmed if you’re intimidated right off the bat. If it works better for you, break up your daily activity into smaller amounts. Instead of doing a full workout all at once, divide it into more manageable segments, and make sure you’re still exerting energy during those times.