Every day, countless people around the world resolve to finally drop all the excuses, and start exercising in a more regimented and efficient way. If you want to build muscle or improve your overall fitness, you need to have a clear idea of what you’re getting into, and avoid overextending yourself or taking things too slow. Here are some of the most important tips for anyone who’s taking their first steps into a more healthy, active life.
Take Things Slow
It’s completely understandable that you’ll be spurred and encouraged to push yourself to your limits, and jump right into a grueling, Rocky-esque exercise regimen, getting vigorous exercise in five or even seven days a week. It’s good to be ambitious, but if you take this approach, you can easily end up biting off more than you can chew, and bringing a disaster down on your head before you’ve even had the chance to see any changes. Begin at the beginning. Start slow and build up your exercise regimen gradually, seeing how your body reacts to each change. 30 minutes a day 2-3 days a week is a great starting point for anyone who’s new to organized fitness. Remember, you’ll be doing more than a lot of other people!
Remember to Eat Well
Eating well outside of the gym is absolutely essential to support the progress you’ll make inside of it. Sure, you may be absolutely smashing it at the gym. However, if you’re not paying attention to what you eat, you’ll be holding yourself back from those overarching goals. The most important things to have before your workout are carbs, and fast-absorbing protein. You may also want to consider supplements and auxiliary products. Look into the best supplements for runners if you’re looking to improve your general fitness, or products such as BCAAS and Beta Alanine for building muscle. Before you order any of these things in bulk, make sure you’re talking to someone who’s a little more experienced in your chosen area than you. Supplements can be incredible for helping you along towards your fitness goals, but they need to be balanced with the right amount and the right kind of exercise.
Mix up Your Routine
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to bulk up or simply shed some pounds, mixing up your exercise regimen is absolutely essential, especially for people who are just starting out and having to drag themselves out of the house before every session. Even within the categories of strength and aerobic training, you shouldn’t simply stick to the exercises you prefer every day. If you go for a run at the same pace around the same block every day, it will quickly become boring, which will make it harder and harder to find the self-discipline it takes to actually get out there and keep at it. Try getting the same benefits from an elliptical workout, a cycle around the block, or practicing your tennis serve. You’re more likely to stick to something you have fun doing, so don’t bore yourself into giving up!
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.