If you've decided to take the leap into your fitness journey and don't know where to start, you're in the right place. This blog will take you through our guide to a beginner's basics, from the tools to set a routine.
Create a routine
If you are starting a routine, it might be a struggle at first. Don't let that bother you. Lots of people struggle at first. And, if you are coming back to your old routine after a break, remember to take it slow too! Going too hard all at once might be too much and deter you from continuing your journey. So, what can you do about it? How can you make sure that you pick a routine and stick with it?
There are a few answers to this, and different things will work for different people but, we can give some general advice.
1 - Stick to it, don't change it up.
Create a routine that will make it easy for you to go about your everyday life, so you can't give yourself an excuse to get out of exercising. Waking up and going to bed at the same time each day is a great start.
2 - Find motivation, write it down…
… and re-read it when you think you're losing it. No matter what reason you have for exercising, it is the thing that will get you through your toughest times. Especially at the beginning, when your brain is telling you to give up, re-read your motivational goals and push through.
3 - Don't be hard on yourself.
You are no one's competition, not even your own. Don't look back at your previous routines and look down on your current ones. You can use that as your destination, but don't skip the journey to getting there. You need to build those foundations.
4 - Set small goals as well as large ones.
The small goals will keep you going throughout the day, the large goals will keep you going overall. For example, when jogging you can set yourself a goal of running for 10 minutes for the first week, but your large goal can be to run a marathon in a year. Completing those small goals will help you get to your larger goal in the future.
A starter routine we recommend is exercising at least three times a week and doing some stretches the other days. If you are just starting we recommend 30 minutes or less a day. Make sure to stretch before and after exercising and allow time for your body to rest.
Include healthy meals
Once you are following your new routine, we recommend starting a meal one. Exercise will drain your body, so if it is not getting the proper fuel, it will burn out quickly. We will not give specific meal advice, for that we recommend speaking to your medical professionals. All we can do is tell you what science says.
It is good to incorporate healthy fats, carbohydrates, fibre and protein in meals to make them balanced and fulfilling. Each of these is crucial to your body's recovery. For example, carbohydrates are a great source of energy stored in your muscles and protein is key for muscle repair.
For more information, we highly recommend reading this article on what to eat for breakfast prior to your morning workout.
Entry level exercises
Now you have routine and healthy meal ideas, let's review some exercise ideas.
1 - Cardio
Running is a great exercise to start with, both for those who are brand new and those looking to get back into it. It is great for cardio health. When starting, use the run-walk method. Remember to always start with stretching. Walk to a targeted destination, and then run to the next one. Repeat the process over again until you reach your time/distance destination.
Swimming is a great cardio workout. Don't forget to still stretch beforehand, and don't go over 20 minutes at first.
Using the jump rope is great for cardio health as well as balance and coordination.
2 - At home strength training
If you want to start strength training but only have your house, we've got some ideas for you. Try the following:
- Jumping jacks
- Walking lunges (side and front lunges)
- Push-ups (kneeling option included)
3- Gym strength training
If you want to do some strength training at the gym, remember not to push yourself too hard all at once. We recommend the following:
- Squats with weights (try holding the weight at shoulder height, if that is too much, hold them with your arms by your sides)
- Deadlifts with barbells (start with low weights and focus on your form and execution)
- Mountain climber (this will help with cardio as well as muscle growth for your legs if you want to get more into running, this is a great exercise for you)
The right gear
You have the routine, you have the meal plans, you have your exercises picked out, let's move into your gear.
Most people underestimate the power of having the right gear. We recommend putting together a list of things that will make your experience more fun and easy. Here is what we recommend:
Running shoes - key to preventing injuries and making your feet feel better after a long run or training session. Find running shoes with good arch support.
Running headphones - we recommend Aftershokz Aeropex Wireless, great quality sound and amazing safety features with bone conduction technology.
Running watch - track your steps and calorie burn easier and in style. We recommend the Coros watches for the best quality for your money.
You are good to go! You have your starting tips and tricks, the rest is up to you. Your journey from here will be tough but so rewarding. Enjoy it and make sure to treat yourself and see every bit of progress as a mountain climbed.