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10 Essential Rules For Fitness Beginners To Follow

February 17, 2014

Starting a new fitness program is exciting, but it can also be pretty tough. This is especially true if you’re a beginner that’s discouraged by the idea of so many lifestyle changes. However, it doesn’t have to be such an uncomfortable maze of discomfort and frustration.

There are a few simple guidelines that can make all the difference in how you view your new journey. Let’s take a look at 10 essential rules for fitness beginners to follow.

1. Start today


One of the most important rules a beginner should always keep in mind is to start right away. Putting your fitness goals off will only cost you lots of time during which you could be making progress and adding some years to your life. The old saying that “tomorrow never comes” couldn’t be more accurate. If you put it off once, you’ll probably do it again.

2. Make fitness a habit


In addition to beginning right away, you should also remember to keep on going, no matter how tough it gets. There will be times when it’s hard to balance your fitness goals with your job and family time, but nobody says you have to spend 3 hours a day at the gym.

If all you have is 20 or 30 minutes, then use that time in the most efficient way possible. Whatever your situation is, you can always find the time to exercise if you really want to.

3. Eat right


You can’t expect to subject your body to a rigorous workout program if you’re giving it nothing but junk food to run on. Feeding your body processed foods and sweets is like pouring bad fuel into your car’s gas tank and expecting it to run like an Indy car. Your body is the most high-tech machine you will ever own and peak performance requires top-quality fuel.

4. Listen to your body


While it’s natural to be sore for a couple days after a hard workout, you need to be aware of anything that’s out of the ordinary. Don’t mistake an injury for common muscle soreness and if there’s any doubt, consult a qualified trainer or physician.

Above all, rest when you need to. There’s no need to rush your progress because as you get stronger and more fit, you’ll know when your body can handle more.

5. Join a gym


Some people find it more difficult to motivate themselves than others. By joining a gym, you have a chance to meet others with similar goals. You might even discover a certain competitive spirit within yourself that comes to the surface when you see others pushing themselves. It’s unlikely that you’ll want to be the only person in the gym who’s slacking off.

6. Know your limits


In the beginning, you’re going to have to start out slowly, like everyone else does. However, once you get used to whatever type of routine you’re doing, you’ll learn how far you can push yourself and where your true limits are. Don’t just decide to go for broke one day or you may end up hurting yourself, which could send you right back to square one.

7. Get the proper gear


Many fitness-related injuries occur because the person failed to acquire the proper gear. Get the right types of shoes and clothing, as well as any protective gear you might need, such as helmets or pads. Avoid buying the cheapest gear you can find, for the simple reason that it might fail when you need it the most, causing serious injury.

8. Get the proper amount of rest


The harder you work out, the more rest you’re going to need. For example, if you’re doing some light circuit-training workouts on machines, you probably won’t need more than a couple days to rest before repeating the entire full-body circuit.

However, if you’re doing a split-routine, working each body part once a week for 40 minutes will most likely be enough. You’ll need more rest, if you’re going to focus that heavily on specific body parts.

9. Stretch


Many people think they can just hop right into their usual routine without stretching, figuring that there’s probably little harm in it.

Unfortunately, this is a great way to get injured, especially if you’re coming back after some time off. The more pliable your muscles are, the greater their range of motion will be and the less likely they are to get strained. If time is a concern, at least stretch the muscles you’re going to be working with on that day.

10. Stay hydrated


Drink plenty of water before, during and after you work out, to replenish all the water you’re losing through sweat. Second only to oxygen, there is nothing your body requires more than an adequate supply of this precious liquid.

You can’t expect to get the most out of your workout without it and in situations of severe dehydration, you could potentially experience cramps and lightheadedness.

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