A post with information for those who may be unsure on what to do for their workout.
I am excited to explore a variety of fitness topics to share with you all. In the past, I published a post on how to "workout smart" and now this one will be focused on more of the basics of exercise. Today I taught my first Group Fitness class in a real studio with real people other than the family and friends I made attend my classes in Fruitvale. It was fun, exciting and also very nerve racking. It ended up going extremely well as everyone, including myself, got a good workout in!
Some people attend classes since they do not know how to properly workout for their bodies and rely on teachers for showing them and thats what I am here for.
If you are looking to get healthy this is for you! Please always feel free to ask me questions regarding fitness and health. I would always love to help. Below are some instructions and tips to teach beginners on how to workout.
1. Establish your goals.
-Do you want to run a race?
-Do you wish to lose weight?
-Do you wish to gain muscle?
You have freedom in your workouts depending on your goal. Find what you want to work on most and do some research regarding ways to reach that goal.
I feel like most of us are looking to 'tone up' as they would call it. Toning up means decreasing body fat & increasing muscle tissue. This is done by eating properly in a caloric balance (burning the same amount of calories that you eat).
If you want to increase your cardio, you will most likely be performing more aerobic exercises (running, biking, swimming, walking).
If you want to lose weight, all forms of exercise help however, you need to focus on how many calories you are eating. (You want to burn MORE than you eat, to efficiently lose weight).
If you want to gain muscle, you should engage in weight training and also consuming protein after each workout. (If you are looking to gain weight, you need to be eating MORE than you are burning).
2. Find a place to workout
Since it may be difficult for all of us to find a gym, there are many outdoor workouts one can try.
If you are in a gym, be grateful!
Make your workout space safe, you need flat ground, water and proper running shoes. Watch for hazards around.
3. Structure your workout.
EVERY workout needs structure which is made up of a warmup, body and cool-down.
WARMUP: (5-10 minutes)
-Gets the heart rate up
-Lubricates the joints
-Warms the body
-Gets blood flowing
-dynamic stretching (high knees, walking lunges, butt kicks). Dynamic means to move so don't hold these stretches for too long.
-it can really be anything that is getting your heart rate up and body moving!
Some examples are walking on the treadmill (I enjoy doing so on an incline of 9-10), biking, stair climbing, running/jumping around.
BODY: (20-45 minutes)
This is probably the part a beginner may be confused by. Figure out what body part/goal you would like to focus on. There are many ways to structure a workout and here are some ideas:
-Intervals (30 sec on: 30 sec off) repeat as many times as possible
-Circuits (1-5 exercises in a row then a break) repeat 2-3x
- Timed workouts (pick any time and don't stop until its over)
-Tabata style (20 sec on: 10 sec off) repeat 8x
If you are confused on which exercises to do, there is a variety of infographics online regarding specific exercises for specific body parts. For example:
There are many varieties out there to share with you. Please do your research and find what you will enjoy most. TRY EVERYTHING.
COOL-DOWN: (5-15 minutes)
-this brings the heart rate down
-cools the body
-relaxes the muscles
-this is where you static stretch (hold stretches for 10-30 seconds on each side of the body). Static means to stay still. Breathe deep throughout your cooldown and thank your body for being able to move.
4. Find workouts online to follow if you are not comfortable making your own. There are many infographics you discover!
5. Replenish Your Body
This step is extremely important when working out. Before and after each workout, you should be eating and drinking certain foods. Food is fuel and you can use it for energy! You need carbs for energy so enjoy some bread, pasta, rice, whole grains, crackers or whatever you like most, before and after workouts. You also need protein for muscle building and fat loss so indulge in beans, meats, eggs, legumes or any other protein sources you enjoy!
Personally, I like to have a protein shake after each workout. This provides my muscles with food for growth. You can always purchase protein at grocery stores for decent prices. Look for ones with the most protein content and least amount of ingredients. Natural is better. If you have allergies there are usually a variety of types out there to fit your needs.
Nutrition is a complex subject. This is my interpretation of the nutrition basics for working out. In summary...PROTEIN IS LIFE.
How often should you workout? This part is up to. Depending on your goals and time, you get to choose. Personally, I try to get in one hour of intense fitness each day. If I cannot, I aim for 4-5 solid workouts a week. If you have enough time in your day to be relaxing for over an hour, you have enough time to fit in a workout. They don't always have to be one hour long, you could shorten each part and get it done in 30-45 minutes. Push yourself hard enough to experience challenge without burning yourself out.
How hard should you workout? If you have the option to record your heart rate with a Fitbit or heart rate tracker, use that during your workouts! If not, you can take your own heart rate by placing two fingers on your wrist (below your thumb) and see how many beats you count in 15 seconds. Times this by 4 and you get your heart rate.
Basically, you should be raising your heart rate anywhere between 40-85% of your resting heart rate.
This can be confusing, so beginners, as long as you are sweating, out of breath and your heart rate is above 100, you are working out efficiently!
Here is a website to help you out...
8. The FITT Principle
The FITT Principle is an informative way of planning your workouts. Use this chart to find what your goal needs to be accomplished!
Exercise is full of complexity but can be easily fit into your every day life. Without it, you may experience fatigue, depression and weight gain. With exercise, you will notice an increase in your mood, your digestion and better overall health! You feel better after movement, trust me. Please don't undermine the importance of being active.
Overall, this information should guide a beginner on how to workout properly. There is much more information related to these topics, however this is a quick, beginners guide. If you have any specific questions please don't hesitate to ask me!
*Below is a gallery of images I recently included in a program plan for a family member. It can give you some ideas on exercises and stretches to perform.