In today’s busy schedule, it’s really hard to find time for oneself. We keep moving in and out of schedules and the list of activities we need to keep a tab on is endless. A person who is fit is capable of living life to its fullest. Physical and mental fitness play very important roles in our lives and people who are both physically and mentally fit are less prone to medical conditions as well. One is never too old or too young to start a fitness regime.
Whenever you realize that you are putting on weight or life is kicking the hell out of you, resort to a fitness regime of your convenience. Gone are the days when people found pleasure and fitness in a simple morning walk or jog.
These days other than yoga and aerobics, even specialized dance forms and sports are emerging as fitness regimes. Zumba, Pilates, kickboxing, Muay-Thai, weight-training are just a few of them. But if you’re suffering from a disease or deficiency, it’s always advisable to consult a doctor and then decide on a particular routine.
Effective Exercise for Beginners
For someone who is taking the first plunge into an exercise regime, a cloud of confusion hovers over what exercise routine he/she should follow. Ideally, for novices, the best thing to do is to start with something simpler like cycling or brisk walking.
Both these exercise regimes are not too expensive and can be performed without any tutorials or guidance. Exercise in any form helps us follow a smooth lifestyle, keeping us fresh even in those rush hours. Right from the evolutionary chain, men and women are built differently. So it is obvious that their weight loss cycle will differ too.
Keeping apart the gender facts, first let us browse through some of the common gym workouts for beginners:
1. Warm Up First:
Before you do any form of exercise, don’t forget to warm up by doing spot jogging, running or skipping. This increases blood circulation to the heart and muscles, and helps in burning energy.
It also reduces the potential risk of muscle injuries.
2. Practice Form First:
Any kind of exercise may be new to you. In the beginning you may lose coordination of your movement. Keep practicing and soon you’ll get a hang of the mode of exercise and take off from there.
It’s always advisable to practice the basic movements before picking a heavier weight training program or challenging yoga poses.
3. Multi-Joint Exercises Are Superior compared to Single-Joint Moves:
Exercises can be categorized into two classes: multi-joint and single-joint. The difference between the two are: with multi-joint exercises, two (or more) sets of joints help accomplish the lift.
With a single-joint move, only one set of joints is working. While doing multi-joint moves, more muscles are engaged, so you can use far heavier weights and they’re therefore better for achieving muscle and strength gains.
4. Do Multiple Sets of an Exercise:
There has been a prolonged scientific research on resistance training, with proof that for a given exercise at least 3 to 4 reps are recommended.
Typically, you should do a warm-up or two of that movement before tackling more challenging weights.
5. Too Heavy or Too Light Is Too Bad:
So how much of lifting weights is enough for you? As a beginner, you should begin with light weights of up to 3 to 5 kgs.
Then to boost resistance you can spike up the number of reps. Once your muscles adapt to the number of repetitions, then you can switch to heavier weights.
6. Control the Rep:
The approach you should follow on each and every rep is like this: Inhale and hold your breath as you lift the weight in a strong and forceful manner, exhaling with ease as you revert back to the original position. Then lower the weight under control as you breathe in.
7. Take a Short Rest between Sets:
Your muscles fatigue during a compound set. They need time to clear the lactic acid and changes in the pH that build up in the surrounding tissue.
This usually takes 90-120 seconds, though larger body parts like the legs and back may take longer, and smaller muscle groups like arms and calves may take less.
A good measure: when you catch your breath and feel ready to go, start a new set.
8. Get At Least 48 Hours Rest Between Workouts:
One you hit the gym it takes time for the muscles repair themselves and become stronger the next time you hit the gym. So try to give at least 48 hours gap between two workouts, so that your muscles are able to relax and absorb nutrients to charge you up.
9. Increase the Workout Intensity
If your body adapts to the same routine day in and day out, then you stop getting results. So strive to do more reps with a given weight or increase the weight from one workout to the next—that’s the progressive stimulus you need to keep making positive improvements.
Now check out these beginner workout routines for men in particular:
- Lie face down on the floor.
- Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width, just under your armpits.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together and press yourself up off the floor, maintaining a straight body position at all times.
- Lower slowly until your chest is just above the floor and repeat.
- Using a Smith machine or a squat rack, set the bar about 3-4 feet above the ground.
- Grab the bar with palms facing down and your arms fully extended.
- Your body should be a straight line from head to your heels on the floor.
- Pull yourself up to the bar and touch it with your sternum, ensuring you squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Slowly lower back to the start position and repeat.
- Lie on the floor on your stomach and place your forearms under your chest. Contract your abs as you lift your torso, hips and legs off the floor together. Your body should be straight and stiff from head to toe. Hold this position.
- The plank works those deep core muscles that sit-ups can’t reach, and builds the core stability which is crucial for spinal health.
- Once you’re able to hold the plank for 3 sets of a 60 seconds, then it’s time to get some balls. Using the same plank position rest your forearms on a Swiss ball.
- Extend your arms forward and backwards, side to side or in circles while keeping your trunk completely still.
Let’s check out a beginner workout routine for women specifically.
- Women just starting out should shoot for three cardio workouts and two strength-training sessions per week.
- Schedule your cardio sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and your strength-training workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- This schedule allows time for your muscles to heal and recover between sessions.
- Although women naturally possess lower levels of muscle-building hormones, strength training is beneficial because it effectively increases lean muscle, which in turn will rev up your metabolic rate and support a healthy body composition.
- In addition, it helps build bone density. A full-body workout regimen for beginners includes the chest press, shoulder press, back row, leg press, leg extension, leg curl and crunches.
- Regular bouts of static stretching will make a significant impact on your flexibility, which in turn will reduce muscle tension, improve posture and reduce your risk of injury.
- Performing stretching at the end of each workout is ideal because your muscles are already warm.
Diet Plan for Beginner’s Workouts
To start with, do not cringe at the myth that you cannot eat everything you like. The bottom line is to stay away from 99% of processed foods.
That’s it! Some exceptions to this are: all natural foods such as all natural peanut butter, salsa, gluten-free bread, white corn chips, etc. All fruits and vegetables are good to eat, you really can’t eat too many of them. However, stay away from fruit juices; the sugar content is harmful. Be smart about the foods that you choose by looking at the nutrition facts on the back of the label.
Make sure that you are getting a balanced diet with an adequate amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Carbohydrates: It is found in all vegetables and fruits, pasta, rice, bread (non-white, gluten-free), oatmeal (the real stuff, not the instant packets with loads of sugar), grits, cream of wheat, tortillas, and tortilla chips (not too many).
Protein: It is found in all lean meats including: skim milk, baked chicken, baked fish, lean steak, eggs, soy, and turkey.
Fats: It is found in olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, avocados, salad dressings, and cottage cheese. I’ve listed many examples, and if you still have questions on what to eat, or if you have a special diet that you have to follow and need to know what to eat,
Follow This Plan for 8 Weeks
As a beginner, you will notice a significant improvement in strength and muscle power for the first two months, but then the changes begin to cease as the muscles get used to it. This is the time we need to step up the fitness routine and try something that triggers muscle resistance to build muscle or lose weight.
- Do one exercise for each of the major muscle groups.
- The first two weeks you practice your form so the weight should be light. In case you feel confident you can try weighing additional sets.
- The second two weeks you’ll add another set. Start with a light warm-up set, then choose a slightly heavier weight for each of your next two sets. Don’t sacrifice good form to do more reps if the weight is too heavy. You know you reach muscle failure when you can’t do any more reps on a given move with textbook form.
- You’ll start with a light warm-up set during the third phase, then choose a more challenging weight for your second and third sets. Try to choose a weight which makes it easier for you to reach the target rep; if you can do more reps, the weight is too light, and if you can’t reach the target rep, the weight is too heavy.
- As you get stronger over the course of the program, do more reps and/or increase the weight to progressively challenge the working muscles.
- If a given barbell or dumbbell exercise is too difficult, find its machine counterpart and practice on that before going back to free weights.
- Follow this work out three times per week on non-consecutive days.
Why is it Important to Be Physically Fit?
People who are physically fit are also healthier and are able to maintain their most optimum weight. They are also not prone to cardiac and other health problems. In order to maintain a relaxed state of mind, a person should be physically active.
A person who is fit both physically and mentally is strong enough to face the ups and downs of life, and is not affected by drastic changes if they take place.
Fitness not only refers to being physically fit, but also refers to a person’s mental state. If a person is physically fit, but mentally unwell or troubled, he or she will not be able to function optimally.
Mental fitness can only be achieved if your body is functioning well. You can help relax your own mind and eliminate stresses by exercising regularly and eating right.
The Benefits of Regular Workout
1. It’s good for the Brain
So if you think that you want to easily achieve those target goals in office easily and flex over some issues then switch to regular exercise. Regular exercise pumps blood to all the corners of the brain and sharpens your intellect.
2. Decreases Stress and Depression
Exercise is the biggest stress buster as it ramps up the endorphin secretion in brain and improves the sleep process.
3. It makes you attractive
With regular exercise your body gets toned and your skin radiates with confidence. It also makes you attractive in any outfit you wear.
4. It reduces medical expenses
Regular exercise keeps your health costs in control as it boosts your immune system and ensures a healthy heart.
So have you chalked out your exercise plan yet? If not, then check out the above mentioned pointers and rise up to a new exercise plan for beginners today.