Starting a workout program can help you reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases, improve your flexibility and coordination, help you lose weight and even improve your sleep habits. A workout routine doesn’t have to mean a strict, time-consuming habit; it can be both fun and beneficial.
Before starting a workout program, you want to establish a baseline that assesses your muscular and aerobic fitness, body composition and flexibility. Record these findings to use as benchmarks to show your progress. Let them motivate you. Things to measure include your heart rate before and after walking a mile, how long it takes you to walk a mile or your body mass index.
When selecting a workout, first consider your goals. Are you looking to lose weight or prepare for a 5K run? According to the Mayo Clinic, having clear goals can help you gauge your progress. When beginning, focus on creating a balanced routine. Adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week along with two days of strength training.
According to WebMD, an absolute beginner should start by doing 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity four to five times a week. Recommended activities are walking, jogging or cycling. To make sure you are working out hard enough, use the talk test. If you can sing a song, pick it up, but if you can barely hold a conversation, slow it down. A solid gym workout for a beginner is the treadmill. Start out simply walking 30 minutes, and as you increase your endurance, adjust the incline, intensity or time to make the workout more challenging.
If you are new to strength training, Muscle & Strength designed a workout program for beginners that hits every major muscle group. Try incorporating this workout into your routine three days a week. When starting out, focus on your technique, not the amount of weight you are lifting. Before each workout, warm up for at least 10 minutes. On the first day, work out your triceps and chest. On the second day, focus on your back and biceps. On the third day, work your legs and your shoulders.
Before starting any workout program, consult with your doctor. According to Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, if you have any major health risks, are a male aged 45 or older or a female aged 55 or older, you need to get medical clearance before starting to work out.
Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.