Whether you are looking to exercise for the first time or hoping to get back into a routine after an extended hiatus you might be wondering where to begin. The first step to establishing an exercise routine is to outline your goals with realistic expectations – decide how much cardio you are willing to do and how much strength training you are interested in. There are various guidelines you can follow as you set up an exercise routine for a beginner, here are some tips to follow as you get started:
- Frequency – How often do you want to work out? The basic principle for beginners is to engage in strength training three times a week and cardio three times a week. As you build your endurance and get more comfortable with your routine you can add more frequency to your cardio workouts.
- Intensity – The level of intensity in a workout refers to how hard you are working. As a beginner, your cardio intensity should be moderate and as you get stronger you will want to gradually increase the intensity of your workouts with interval training.
- Time – How long are your workouts? The basic recommendation for a cardio workout is 20 to 25 minutes, you can add in a couple of minutes each week to challenge yourself and to make steady progress without working too hard.
- Type – It’s important to mix things up in your exercise routines so that you can keep your mind and body engaged. Start out with activities that you enjoy and throw in some challenging exercise to keep you on your toes and to challenge yourself. There are many different types of cardio workouts to choose from – walking, running, cycling, swimming, etc.
When you work out at a sufficient intensity, time and frequency you will see changes in your weight, endurance and strength pretty quickly. If you plateau in your progress it means that it’s time to make a change by increasing the time of your workout, the intensity or the type of exercise you are doing.
Now that we’ve shared how to outline your workouts as you get into a routine, we want to share 7 exercise routines for beginners that can help you get started on your new health journey. The top 7 exercise routines for beginners include:
There are many different types of cardio exercises you can engage in. You can run on the treadmill, take a spin class, go for a brisk walk or go for a swim. Your cardio routine should be 20-25 minutes long and you should increase the intensity and time as you build your endurance.
Strengthening your core muscles is important because it connects your upper and lower body. A strong core also enhances your balance or stability, so work in different variations of core exercises like planks, sit ups, leg raises and crunches.
- Bodyweight Strength Training
Bodyweight exercises utilize multiple muscle groups, increase your heart rate and burn a ton of calories. Some of the most popular bodyweight exercises for beginners include squats, push-ups, lunges and jumping jacks.
- Strength Training with Weights
When you add weight to your strength training you increase the intensity of the exercise, which in turn will challenge your body more. With weighted dumbbells try out some beginner exercises like a glute bridge, overhead shoulder press, single-arm dumbbell row, deadlifts and squats.
- Resistance Training
An additional way to challenge your mind and body is to add different resistance to your workouts. For example, instead of weights you can use different resistance bands when you work on squats or other strength training exercises to increase the intensity of your workout.
Improving your flexibility takes time but is very important in keeping your body limber as you work out. Some of the best beginner exercises for flexibility include a standing hamstring stretch, lunge with a spinal twist, triceps stretch, figure four stretch, the butterfly stretch and various other options. Incorporating yoga into your routine is guaranteed to help you increase your flexibility – it’s also really great for managing stress and mental health.
Stretching before and after a workout is essential to keeping your muscles and body safe and healthy. This is also the best way to avoid injury, and it will feel really great moving your body mindfully after a rigorous work out.
No matter where you are in your weight loss, health and fitness journey it’s important to be mindful and select exercises and routines that you can commit to. Set yourself up for success by setting realistic goals and expectations, and if you need additional support then we encourage you to contact our clinic for personalized guidance to help you gain back your energy and happiness!