It’s clear that regular exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, but many people find it difficult to start. Especially when you aren’t used to habitually being active each week, both your body and mind can struggle to adapt if you go in without a plan. Read about how to start exercising as a beginner with these pointers so that you can take hold of a better you.
Set Defined Goals
When people start exercising, they usually have a vague idea of what they want to get out their efforts. Maybe you want to lose some weight or build muscle. It could also be that you want to engage in strenuous activities, such as intense hiking or basketball, so you want to improve your fitness to meet the demands they place on your body. These are all good goals, but they can also seem unattainable when you first start out. Therefore, you should set defined goals you can quantify. For instance, if you want to get stronger, you might write down a weight you want to be able to lift while doing bench presses. If you want more cardiovascular endurance for sports, you could set a time within which you want to be able to run a certain distance. Clear goals will motivate you more and help you see your progress as you continue exercising.
Create a Schedule
You should also create a fixed schedule to stick to. Without one, it can be easy to forget about your workouts or allow other desires or free time activities to take precedence. Once you have a schedule, though, you’ll know exactly what you should be doing during the course of a typical week. You can put the types of workouts you want to do on different days in your phone calendar or on a piece of paper to keep yourself accountable.
To illustrate, you might make Monday a day where you walk for 30 minutes, while every Wednesday, you focus on body weight strength training. Within a given day, you should also outline the exact exercise you will perform. If you’re working on your upper body, for example, you should know whether you’ll do push-ups, pull-ups, or other movements as well as how many repetitions and sets of each you’ll do.
Build Up Slowly
An important thing to remember when you’re learning how to start exercising as a beginner is that progress takes time. Don’t be discouraged when you don’t see the results you want right away. Instead, stay consistent and aim to slowly build up your abilities. Since you’re not accustomed to physical activity at the outset, you can use aids to help you incrementally get closer to your goals.
For example, if you want to be able to bike long distances but have trouble maintaining a consistent pedaling pace, you could buy an e-bike. An e-bike will have several levels of electric assistance that will make pedaling a bit easier until you have the strength and endurance to pedal on your own. Likewise, if you can’t do a push-up, you could perform a variation with your knees on the ground until you have the ability to keep your legs straight. Before you know it, you’ll look back and realize you’ve come a long way, and you’ll continue to feel energized to keep pushing even further.