NEW TO FITNESS? GIVE THIS A READ

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You’ve decided it’s time to start exercising. Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step on your way to a new and improved body, mind & life.
To me exercise is like the magic pill. Exercise can literally cure & prevent diseases like some forms of heart disease. Exercise has been implicated in helping people prevent or recover from some forms of cancer. Exercise helps people with arthritis. Exercise helps people prevent and reverse depression.
Ready to get started? Here are my top tips for any newbie looking to dip their toe in their fitness journey. The first step to any workout routine is to evaluate how fit you. Gain an idea of your baseline for fitness levels. Whenever you begin an exercise program, it’s wise to consult an expert or doctor if you have any underlying health issues.

Fitness Definitions

Even long-term exercisers may not have the exact idea about what some fitness terms mean. Here are some definition of words and phrases you’re likely to encounter:
  • Aerobic/cardiovascular activity. These are exercises that are strenuous enough to temporarily speed up your breathing and heart rate. Running, cycling, walking & swimming.
  • Maximum Heart Rate is based on the person’s age. An estimate of a person’s maximum age-related heart rate can be obtained by subtracting the person’s age from 220.
  • Flexibility training or stretching. This type of workout enhances the range of motion of joints. Age and inactivity tend to cause muscles, tendons, and ligaments to lose flexibility and elasticity over time.
  • Strength, weight, or resistance training. This type of exercise is aimed at improving the strength and function of muscles. Specific exercises are done to strengthen each muscle group. Weight lifting and exercising with resistance bands are examples of resistance training activities, as are exercises like pushups in which you work with your own bodyweight.
  • Set. Usually used in discussing strength training exercises, this term refers to repeating the same exercise a certain number of times. For instance, a weight lifter may do 10 biceps curls, rest for a few moments, then perform another “set” of 10 more biceps curls.
  • Repetition or “rep.” This refers to the number of times you perform an exercise during a set. For example, the weight lifter mentioned above performed 10 reps of the bicep curl exercise in each set.
  • Warm up. This is the act of preparing your body for the stress of exercise. The body can be warmed up with light intensity aerobic movements like walking slowly. These movements increase blood flow, which in turn heats up muscles and joints. I always add mobility and movement drills to my clients warm ups that will help prepare them for the workout to come.

 

Once you’re warmed up, I recommend three different types of exercise for overall physical fitness: cardiovascular activity, strength conditioning, and flexibility training. These don’t all have to be done at once, but doing each on a regular basis will result in balanced fitness.
  • Cardiovascular activity. Start by doing an aerobic activity, like walking or running, for a sustained 20-30 minutes, four to five times a week. To ensure you’re working at an optimum level, try the “talk test”: Make sure you can carry on a basic level of conversation without being too breathless. If you can easily talk and hold a conversation you need to increase the intensity.
  • Strength conditioning. Start by doing one set of exercises targeting each of the major muscle groups. Use a weight at which you can comfortably perform the exercise eight to 12 times in a set. When you think you can handle more, gradually increase either the weight, the number of repetitions, or number of sets. To maximise the benefits, do strength training at least twice a week. Never work the same body part two days in a row. An example of a lower body session for beginners would be as follows:

 

Exercise 1: Barbell squats – 4 sets of 2 reps (Rest for 90 seconds)

Exercise 2: Dumbbell step ups – 3 sets of 10 each leg ( Rest for 60 seconds after completing reps on both legs)

Exercise 3: Leg Press – 3 sets of 12 reps (Rest 90 seconds between sets)

Exercise 4: KB glue bridges – 3 sets of 15 reps (Rest for 60 seconds between sets)

Exercise 4: Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 15 reps (Rest for 45 seconds between rounds)

  • Flexibility training. I’d recommend doing slow, sustained static stretches three to seven days per week. Each stretch should last 10-30 seconds. Make sure you are stretching key areas such as, hamstrings, glutes, quads, hips and back.

 

Make it Fun

My number one rule is that if you are just embarking into the fitness world you have to find a form of exercise that you enjoy. The fitness world is constantly expanding and there is so much variety in what you can do. Whether it’s running, swimming, martial arts, fitness classes, the gym or dancing all have fitness benefits and it’s about finding what you love doing. If you love doing something you do it again and again don’t you? It’s the same with fitness. Find your passion and I promise you, you won’t look back.

Help and Advice

If you’re looking for any advice on the above blog or are looking for guidance and motivation through online coaching please drop Aimee an email on aimeevictorialong@icloud.com to find out more information on how we can help you. Just like we’re helping hundred’s of other individuals become a fitter, healthier version of themselves. Alternatively  go to this link to set up a consultation call.

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