The Anatomy of A New Fitness Routine
Exercise is key to a healthier lifestyle. That's common knowledge. But how to build and sustain a successful exercise routine is another story. Here's how professional trainers and fitness instructors recommend getting started...
- Listen to your body. Pay attention to your muscles, joints and bones. If you’re in too much pain after a workout, take a day off. Feel great? Step it up a bit.
- Write down everything. Putting your routine on paper keeps you motivated. So plug workout dates and times into your calendar, record weekly goals and track your progress.
- Work your core. A strong core keeps you fit and stable and helps to prevent injuries and health concerns. So mix a solid dose of crunches, twists and planks into your routine.
- Allow time for recovery. One common mistake among new runners is piling run on top of run. Muscles need to recover, so trainers say to space runs out to start and build up frequency.
- Whenever possible walk. Skip past the elevator. Leave the car in park. Walking or pedaling instead of driving is a great way to work a mini-workout into your day.
- Set unrealistic goals. Unachievable goals can breed doubt and quickly derail any new plan. Start with simple milestones like number of workouts a week or minutes exercised a day.
- Let time get in the way. Lack of time is a leading cause of skipped workouts. So build your plan around your busy schedule by working in short bursts of exercise throughout the day.
- Forget to hydrate. Dehydrated muscles are more likely to cramp and tighten up - which leads to tears. Drink lots of water before, during and after exercises.
- Go out too fast... or far... or long. For new exercisers, doing too much, too soon can doom a routine in its infancy. Trainers’ tip: set speed, distance and time limits - and hold yourself to them.
- Neglect your feet. Your feet are the foundation for so many of the movements you make. Keep them stretched, strong and healthy - just like any vital body part.
The benefits of being fit
Trainers and instructors believe exercises can most look forward to...
- Feeling good - 52%.
- Better health (lower cholesterol, blood pressure) - 45%.
- Weight loss - 38%.
- Satisfaction of achieving goals - 30%.
- Doing something for themselves - 22%.
- Weight maintenance - 22%.
- Stress relief - 21%.
- Adrenaline rush - 15%.
- Muscle mass - 14%.
- Sense of community - 12%.
- Muscle tone - 9%.
Best fitness resources
This infographic's tips are just the tip of the fitness tip iceberg. Here are some valuable resources the pros recommend...
- Personal trainer or fitness professional - 65%.
- Friends and family - 62%.
- Fitness videos - 43%.
- Fitness blogs and other online resources - 39%.
- Fitness magazines - 27%.
- Workout books - 24%.