Working out is an important part of keeping up an active lifestyle.
A Bit About Starting a Workout Routine
Starting a workout routine is very simple, and as long as you keep it up, you can achieve great results and keep your body feeling healthy. Exercise is important for keeping our organs healthy, keeping us feeling energised and for our general health and wellbeing.
Why is exercise important?
Exercise is important because it can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life. Exercising can also improve your mood and can be great for your mental health as well as your physical health.
Why is it difficult to start a workout routine?
Many of us lead extremely busy lifestyles and often we can push our fitness goals to the side to focus on other things. What we should be doing however is making fitness a priority. This is because fitness is so great for our bodies and minds, we should never ignore it or push it to the side.
It can also be difficult to start a fitness routine if we're not really sure where to start or what to do. If you've never had a fitness routine before, you might not know how to start one, or you might not even know what one is. That is why we have created this simple guide to help you on your way to creating a workout routine that works for you.
How to Start a Workout Routine
Step 1 - Asses Your Fitness Level
You probably have some idea of how fit you are and your personal fitness levels. However, it is important to measure some aspects of your fitness levels so that you can keep track of your progress and create your own fitness goals based on your current fitness levels.
To assess your aerobic and muscular fitness, flexibility, and body composition, it might be worth jotting down your:
- Your pulse rate before and immediately after walking 1 mile (1.6 kilometers)
- How long it takes to walk 1 mile or 400 meters, or how long it takes to run 1.5 miles (2.41 kilometers)
- How many half situps, standard pushups or modified pushups you can do at a time
- How far you can reach forward while seated on the floor with your legs in front of you
- Your waist circumference, just above your hipbones
- Your body mass index
Once you have this information, it will be easier for you to create a workout routine that works for you. Everyone is different and everyone fitness levels will be different. It is important to create your workout routine with goals that suit you.
Step 2 - Design Your Fitness Program
It is important to make a thorough plan so that you are more likely to stick to it. It's easy to say that you're going to exercise everyday. However, if you make yourself an actual plan of what you're going to do and when, it will be much easier to stick to it.
Begin by considering your fitness goals. Why are you looking to create an exercise plan? Are you looking to lose weight? Tone up? Just keep up your general health? Having clear goals from the offset will help you stay motivated for the long term.
It is important to create a balanced routine. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. So bare this in mind when creating your fitness schedule.
If you're new to exercise or if it has been a while since you last exercised, then take it slow. Start small and work your way up to bigger goals. As you exercise more and more you will find that you become stronger and fitter and you will be capable of much more down the line.
Be sure to cary the exercises. Keeping to the same exercises can become boring and may even start to seem like a chore. Instead of doing the same exercise over and over, try incorporating different things into your exercise plan to mix it up a little bit.
Don't forget to allow time for recovery. It is just as important to have off days as it is to have on days. Your body needs time to recover in between exercises, so be sure to incorporate that into your fitness plan.
Step 3 - Gather Your Equipment
Depending on the types of exercises that you're planning on doing, there may be a number of pieces of equipment that you may need before starting up. Some examples may be a pair of running shoes, some gym clothing, a gym membership, or perhaps even home gym equipment if you plan to do your workouts at home. Be sure to have all of this sorted out prior to starting your exercise plan.
If you're planning on buying your own gym equipment, be sure to do your research. You want to buy equipment that is fun to use so that you don't get bored of it, but that is also simple enough and easy for you to use - especially if you are a beginner. The last thing you want is to spend loads of money on gym equipment and then never end up using it because it's too difficult or becomes too boring to use.
Step 4 - Start Your Routine
Once the previous steps have been completed, it's now time to make a start on your routine. There are a few things to keep in mind once you start your fitness routine.
It is important to start slowly and gradually work your way up to avoid injury. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to warm up before workouts and be sure to incorporate a cool down and stretch session after each workout.
Break up your exercises if needed. You don't need to do everything at once. If you're struggling or if you're short on time, just split your exercise up and continue it later.
Be creative with your workouts so that they don't get boring. Try to mix things up and do something different each time. Not only will this be more fun, but it will also be more challenging and may even produce better results.
Listen to your body. If you're in pain, struggling to breathe or if you feel like you can push on any more - that's fine. Allow yourself time to recover. Don't continue if you feel like you can't. It is fine to take breaks whenever you need them.
Step 5 - Monitor Your Progress
If you succeeded in recording all of the bullets in step one than it should be easy to track your progress. Do not track it every day and this may make it harder to notice a difference. Instead, try tracking the progress weekly or even bi-weekly. Keep a note of the results each time you record them so that you can easily keep track of how well you're doing. Keeping notes like this can also be great motivation for you to continue on with sticking to the routine.
If you find yourself losing motivation, try setting yourself new goals or try new exercised. A great tip that I find very useful myself is to go onto social media and find inspirational fitness pages to follow. I myself follow many fitness Instagram accounts where they post videos of various workout routines that I then like to try for myself. This can be great motivation and can also provide new ideas of fun workouts to try out.
We hope you enjoyed this simple guide on how to start a workout routine.
Did you enjoy this list of steps on how to start a workout routine? Perhaps you have some tips of your own about how to start a workout routine that you think should be on this list? Or maybe you have some stories about starting your own workout routine that you would like to share with us? We would love to hear them! Please leave a comment in the comment section below this article.
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