Many people make resolutions to get fit in the New Year. This resolution is often considered a failure within the first few weeks of January! Making fitness part of your everyday life can be difficult, but it works best if you ease your way into it. If you jump in doing hard workouts 5 days per week you are likely going to get tired of it very quickly and end up quitting shortly after you start.
Here are some steps to beginning a workout program that you will be able to stick to:
Start with some cardio- The key component to starting an exercise program or losing weight is getting a proper cardiovascular workout. It is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week. If you are new to exercise you can start out slow by talking a walk a few days per week.
Add some strength- Resistance training is also very important in a proper exercise plan. It is recommended that an individual strength trains 2-3 days/ week.
After a few weeks, add some lower body exercises. These include complex movements like squats and lunges. Complex movements mean you need to take more precautions when performing them. Performing these exercises incorrectly can cause discomfort or an injury.
Incorporating core exercises is important as well. These can be done on the floor or standing up. Try incorporating some “crunching” movements as well as some “rotational” movements. Core exercises are great to do in between upper and lower body exercises so your arms and legs can rest in between sets.
After a few more weeks, add in upper body exercises. You can pick up a pair of dumbbells at just about any department store, or use soup cans or water bottles that you already have. Doing some simple arm exercise is great way to jump start building some upper body strength.
Increase Duration or Add Intensity- After you have been doing your light cardio and weight lifting for a few weeks, it’s time you can start making your workouts more challenging. You can do this a few different ways. Increasing the length of time, or the number of days, are two ways you can take your workout up a notch. You can also step up the intensity levels by turning your walk into a jog, which can turn into a run in the future. You can also increase the number of pounds you are lifting. This can be accomplished by adding repetitions and sets or increasing the size of dumbbells you are using.
At Physical Enhancement Services we take similar steps with our new clients with our First Step Program. Our clients have seen great results when working with our trainers to meet their New Year’s fitness goals. During this program we meet with our clients 5 times over the course of the 12 week program to monitor and provide feedback regarding their exercise and diet. You may want to consider hiring a trainer or health coach to help see you through your exercise goals in 2013!