Too much too fast of anything is never a good idea. As with most things in life, this also applies to exercising. So, what’s the best approach to getting in better shape? A gradual buildup and additional recovery time will help you improve your fitness level without forcing you to the sidelines. Here are some other considerations to think about before you pull a hammy. With these tips, you can exercise in your favorite gym shorts and make incredible progress, all without overdoing it.
Talk to a Personal Trainer
A personal trainer can advise you on various aspects of fitness, nutrition and health. Meet with a professional to see if personal training is something you want to pursue, especially if you aren’t sure where to start. They will talk to you about your fitness history and current goals to come up with a plan that works for you. Fitness trainers can also help you stay motivated with words of encouragement, push you if you need it and teach you how to lift properly or learn new exercises.
Take It Easy at First
As with many endeavors, it’s smart to ease into your training. If you are fairly sedentary or only lightly active, you may start by lacing up your gym shoes and walking (or other cardio) or doing some basic strength training a few times a week. You don’t want to go so hard out of the gate that you dread coming back for more and you’ll give your body time to adapt to your new routine.
Don’t Skip Rest Days
It’s tempting to power through without rest days, especially when you’re on a mission. But skipping rest days can lead to burnout and over-training. Plus, starting anything new will likely give you sore muscles. It’s during those recovery days that you are actually building muscle and becoming stronger. Some people may be able to get away with one day of rest per week, while others need a day in between every workout. It all depends on your current needs and schedule.
Play with Your Rep Range
If you’re lifting, you may start with something like five to six reps. If your goal is to eventually lift more weight, you’ll take the reps up to eight to 10 before increasing the weight. It’s common to overdo your rep range when first starting because you think it’s going to build muscle faster. If you can easily do more than 10 reps, it probably means you need to add more weight to get the right rep ratio. Everyone is different, so experiment with what works best for you.
Make Your Workouts Fun
Whatever activity you pursue, make sure it’s one you enjoy. Working out isn’t always easy, but it should still be fun. If you’ve always wanted to get better at running, be sure to choose running shoes that respond well and are comfortable and wear athletic leggings that provide the snug but comfy compression your legs need to feel supported. All activities are more enjoyable when you have the right gear behind you.
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