Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Advice for Newbies

Beginning an exercise program can be frustrating and quite honestly, painful. Here's some advice to help any who are just starting out.

#1 - Everyone is so different - body type, fitness level, genetics - Please don't compare yourself or injure yourself by going too hard, too fast. It takes an invested effort to become physically fit. Someone who has been doing it for years or even months longer than you will be stronger. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. Look at it as a motivator or goal for where you want to be, but don't hurt yourself to get there or quit because the results are slow.

#2 - The results are slow. It's frustrating for me to even think about this. The weight comes on gradually, it's going to come off gradually, but unfortunately it's a heck of a lot harder to take it off! Don't give up and don't feel bad if you don't meet your goals one day. It's the old turtle and rabbit race. Slow and steady will win every time. 

#3 - If you're new, take it slow - meaning the reps and the progression, watch your form and only do what your body can handle. I include plyometrics (jumps) in a lot of my workouts. You don't have to do them. You don't have to do anything I say. Listen to your own body. I like to jump, some people hate it. If you hate it, don't do it. That sounds dumb, but really working out should not be torture and if it is you'd better find a different kind of exercise that you like or you're never going to stick with it for life. That said, sometimes you have to keep going and you'll learn to like the exercise. It's a delicate balance that you'll have to figure out for yourself. But if you've been say running for a year and every step is still torture, maybe you're not a runner. Not a big deal, try something else. Maybe you're a swimmer or soccer player or dancer. 

#4 - Every woman should include some kind of resistance training for metabolism benefits, osteoporosis prevention, and the easiest way to improve physique and feel great. If you truly hate weight lifting (just rip out my heart), you can do different kinds of resistance training - Pilates, Yoga, resistance with bands or using body weight. The most important thing is finding something that works for you and that you will stick with.

#5 - Your body was meant to move. It should be fun. It should feel good. Keep it moving and you'll reap the rewards for life.

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