Beginning an exercise program can be intimidating if you are just starting out.
There are some things that are very important that you definitely need to know.
1. That you are medically cleared to exercise.
This knowledge is extremely important, especially if you are older and have never really exercised before. Let your doctor know that you wish to start an exercise program and ask if there is anything you should be aware of.
|Rule of Thumb:||If you are older, have never exercised before or have any pre-existing conditions that might affect you if you exercised, consult your physician. If in doubt, get checked out.|
2. How to exercise safely.
It is no good starting an exercise program with all the best of intentions if you hurt yourself immediately upon starting that exercise program. Not only are you less likely to keep exercising but you may give up entirely.
|Rule of Thumb:||Learn how to do some basic exercises safely and effectively.|
3. Where to start.
It is hard to do something properly if you don't know where to begin. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Make sure that step is going in the right direction! It will save you much time and frustration.
|Rule of Thumb:||Know where to start then learn the next steps.|
4. Why you are exercising.
What's your motivation? If you don't know why you are exercising, chances are you won't be focused on what you want to achieve. This is quickest road to failure.
|Rule of Thumb:||Know why you're exercising. Write down specific goals that you would like to achieve, e.g. lose 10 pounds of fat in 8 weeks.|
5. What you need to do to achieve your goals.
It is great to have goals. It is even better to know how to achieve them. Would you drive across the country without a map? Why would you embark upon something as important as your health and fitness without a plan as so many people do.
|Rule of Thumb:||Find out what you need to do to achieve your goals, even if it's|
Getting started in health and fitness can be an intimidating task at best. At worst, it can be completely overwhelming. Here are some ideas on things that you don't really need to know in order to start getting into better shape right now.
What You DON'T Need To Know...
1. What your target heart rate is.
Though this can be helpful, it does require calculations and some understanding of cardiovascular training. When you start training, you don't need to know the range of how many beats per minute you should keep your pulse rate at.
|Rule of Thumb:||If you can still talk while you are doing it, then you are in a good training zone. This is called the "Talk" test.|
2. The exact caloric and nutrient measurement of everything you eat.
As you get more serious with training, you may wish to know exactly how much of everything you are eating in a day. When you are first starting out, this practice can be time-consuming and intimidating.
|Rule of Thumb:||Write down what you eat during the day to keep yourself honest. Phase out junk food and include more whole, unprocessed foods.|
3. How to design a complete exercise program for yourself.
You may wish to learn how to do this at some point, but don't bite off more than you can chew. Exercise programs can be very simple or very complex, depending on your needs and/or goals.
|Rule of Thumb:||Start with a simple activity such as walking just to start doing something. Learn some basics on your own or seek professional help from a trainer.|
4. How to use every machine in a gym.
Chances are, you probably don't need to know how to use any machines in a gym. You can do an effective workout using only what you have available in your house right now!
|Rule of Thumb:||Learn some basic exercises. The rest will come in time.|
5. Physiology, anatomy and biomechanics.
You don't need to know what they are or why you might even need to know them. You can exercise and see the benefits and results without ever knowing why or how it is happening. As you progress, you should, however, strive to increase your knowledge of training and how it works. It will help you improve your progress.
|Rule of Thumb:||Learn enough to start doing something. Don't worry about things that won't affect your progress right now.|
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