Read these 16 Beginner Fitness Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Womens Fitness tips and hundreds of other topics.
For beginners, most women's fitness experts recommend four to five workouts 30-minute workouts per week for. Allow 48 hours between each weight or resistance training session in order to give your muscles time to heal. As your fitness level progresses you can start to add more time to each work out. Make sure your progression is gradual and you do not overload your body.
Exercise has been proven to make you look younger. It offsets your declining rate metabolism that happens as you age, and increases bone density. Regular exercise will also help minimize muscle loss if you are following a weight loss program; giving you a more toned body and making you appear younger. If you do regular cardiovascular exercise such as swimming, cycling or running you will strengthen your heart muscle and keeping it young.
Exercise is essential to women's health and fitness. There are many womens fitness centers all over the country that offer members more than what you would find in a women's health and fitness magazine. Most gyms offer personal trainers to help you get going in the right direction and equipment for exercise routines that include weight or resistance training as well as group exercise classes.
Sign up for a yoga or Pilates class to strengthen your core muscle groups and improve your flexibility. If you are trying to whittle your middle and improve your endurance, sign up for a kickboxing or step aerobics class, or anything that gets your heart pounding. Many gyms also offer core-conditioning classes that isolate “problem” areas such as your butt, thighs or abs and work on getting those areas in shape.
When you are in an environment that is devoted to health and fitness, you are more likely to enjoy your workout and keep your motivation up!
Lack of results is one of the main reasons that people will discontinue their exercise program. However, there are some common mistakes that people tend to make with their programs that might lead to less than impressive results. Here are some of them.
Lack of Planning: Start with a clearly defined goal, and make sure that your exercise routine supports that goal. If possible, enlist the help of a personal trainer.
Unrealistic Goals: If you are trying to lose weight, one to two pounds a week is considered realistic. If you try for more than that, you will be disappointed. Fast weight loss is associated with fast re-gain. Who needs that?
Envy: The Green Monster: Every woman is unique. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses. As such, our progress in our fitness programs may vary. Work to the best of your abilities, and resist the temptation to compare yourself to others.
Boring Routines: If you do the same routine for months on end, you body will eventually adapt to it. This is the straight path to exercise burnout. From time to time, be sure to add a bit of variety to your workout.
Feed Me! I'm Hungry! Extreme caloric restriction will deplete you energy. Choose a healthy diet, and avoid fads.
Too Much, Too Soon: Over exercising may lead to injury and burnout.
Weight Training the Same Muscles on a Daily Basis: When you body adapts to weight training, you can train two days in a row, but only of you train different muscle groups. However, training the same muscle groups two days in a row will obliterate all of your positive results.
There are many reasons that a beginner swim workout can be beneficial to anyone who is starting a fitness program. Since the buoyancy of water lightens your weight by about 90 percent, any type of exercise that is performed in the pool will be easier on the joints than exercises performed on land. This is especially helpful if you are significantly overweight, or if you suffer from any muscular/skeletal injuries.
A beginner swim workout is especially helpful to anyone who lives in a hot and humid climate, where finding motivation to exercise might be a justifiable challenge. Additionally, once you improve your stroke, you will burn more calories during your swimming session. So the next time you go on vacation, you will have an enjoyable fitness plan to prevent excessive weight gain. In addition to learning to swim, you might also enjoy other pool workouts such as aqua aerobics and aqua sculpting. There are even cutting edge pool workouts such as Poolates, which is a Pilates water workout, and Aqua Yoga.
Getting Started: Here are some things you will need to begin a swim fitness program:
Bathing Suits: A snug-fitting Lycra bathing suit is a durable investment
Goggles: Goggles are needed to protect your eyes from the chlorine. Correctly fitting goggles will maintain leak-proof protection without being too tight. They need to be small enough to fit under your eyebrows. Before buying, try the suction test: Remove the head strap and push the goggles to your eyes to create a slight suction. If they stay on your face for a moment, they fit.
Ear Plugs: If you are prone to ear infections, a set of silicone ear plugs is a good investment.
Bathing Caps: Some public pools require them. If you color your hair, you will want one, in order to keep the chlorine from turning your hair green!
Fins: These are great for building leg strength.
Paddles: Hand paddles are excellent for upper body strength.
Kick Board: Kick boards train you to rely on your legs for propulsion. Since increasing your leg exertion will burn more calories, a kick board is a welcome addition to your swim workout.
There are many reasons why women should become involved in a weight training program. Here are just a few:
These days, if you open any women's fitness magazine, you can't help but get excited about the idea of getting into shape. In the past, the idea of starting even a basic exercise program would be met with a series of moans and groans. However, in recent years, fitness programs have become a whole lot of fun. If you plan to start a beginner fitness program, there are a few things you should do in preparation.
First of all, if you are over the age of 45 and have been inactive, prior to beginning an exercise program, you should confer with your doctor. Your next step is to determine your goals. However, you want to make sure that they are realistic. Additionally, your goals will determine the type of program to begin.
For example, if weight loss is your primary goal for beginning an exercise program, you might be interested in a beginner running program or a beginner treadmill program. If you are significantly overweight, or if you have several injuries, you might prefer to start with a walking program or a beginner swim workout.
In general, aerobic workouts are best for weight control. You will want to begin by devoting three 20-minute sessions a week to your cardiovascular routine. Eventually, you should build up to 30 minutes for six days a week.
When you are first staring out in an aerobic exercise program, you will want to be aware of your heart rate. To find your maximum heart rate subtract your age from the number 220. Your target heart rate is anywhere between 60 to 80 percent of this number. There are two ways in which you can check your heart rate during exercise.
Some women's fitness magazines advertise a heart-rate monitor that you can strap around your chest. It gives you feedback that is displayed on a digital watch, which will tell you exactly what your heart rate is at any specific moment in your aerobic exercise session.
The second way to find your heart rate is by feeling either your carotid artery or your radial artery. The carotid artery can be found by gently placing your index finger on your neck, between the middle of your collar bone and jaw line. The radial artery pulse check is performed by placing your index and middle finger on the underside and thumb-side of your wrist.
The easiest way to take your heart rate is to take your pulse for six seconds and multiply that number by 10. There is one caveat. Many people find it difficult to find the right place to take their pulse. Also, in recent years, researchers have discovered that the 220 minus your age formula is not always accurate. As such, many women prefer to use a perceived exertion scale, which is rated 1 to 10. Ten is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest while carrying your groceries. One is the equivalent of lying on your coach watching the Lifetime Movie Network. Your perceived exertion should be between a level six and a level eight. Researchers have found that when testing people's perceived exertion, a level six to eight corresponded with a 60 to 80 percent target heart rate.
When you create a beginner fitness program, you will want to make sure to include exercises that satisfy the basic components of fitness. These include:
Many women's fitness magazines offer advice on workouts that are appropriate for beginners. When starting these workouts, keep some basic safety precautions in mind.
A healthy diet is essential to women's fitness and losing weight. As you start a new health and fitness program, rethink your diet so it includes food that will give you energy and keep you moving. We all know the basics to dieting -- cut the fat, sugar, carbohydrates and so on -- but here are a few tips that will get you moving towards a healthier diet:
Now that you have made the commitment to start a new fitness program, you will want to make sure that you can stick with it. Since statistics show that close to 50% of people who start an exercise program are likely to drop out after six months, countless studies have been performed about exercise adherence. Here are some of the findings:
At the risk of stating the obvious, choosing an enjoyable activity has a strong influence on exercise adherence. Many people embark on a particular type of fitness program because they have heard that “it's the best.” However, the best exercise routine is the one that you personally will enjoy doing.
Love the Location
Choose a fitness center that is near your favorite bookstore, clothing store or healthy restaurant. Avoid locations in neighborhoods that you think are either unsafe or depressing. Some studies show that a facilities proximity to your home or workplace has a strong influence on exercise adherence.
It's all in the Timing
While experts may argue about the best time of the day to exercise, everyone's biorhythms tend to differ. Choose the time of the day when you have the most energy, and choose the time that you will least likely feel that you need to rush through your routine.
Some people find that exercising with a friend helps them stick to their routine. However, it works best if you and your friend are at similar levels of fitness.
You can get excited about exercise by reading women's fitness magazines as well as beginner fitness books such as Fitness for Dummies.
Set Your Goals Beyond Weight Loss and Appearance
Not that these aren't admirable goals. However, they are subjective. Why not take up a new sport, and plan a training program that will improve your athletic skill?
If you have been inactive for a long period of time, be sure to check with your doctor before starting a weight training program. Once you have made the commitment to get started, you should try to follow the weight training guidelines that are suggested by the American College of Sports Medicine:
Allow 24-48 hours of rest between strength training days. Rest days will give the muscles adequate time to repair themselves from the small tears that occur during strength training.
It can be difficult for busy moms to find time for the recommended four to five 30-minute workouts per week. Nevertheless, women's fitness is vital to a healthy lifestyle and there are ways to sneak in a few moves throughout the day that will get your heart pumping even on those days that you can't get to the gym.
You have to do more than skim through a fitness magazine to stay in shape, but unfortunately health and fitness is not at the top of most women's to-do lists. Exercise can be a tedious task, but if you enlist the help of a friend, you both will benefit.
Make exercise dates a few times a week when both of you can commit to a 30-minute workout. Go for a walk, hit the treadmill together, join a fun fitness class or share a personal training session. A workout buddy will motivate you and help you stick to a routine.
If you have trouble finding a friend who has similar fitness goals and a compatible schedule, turn to the Internet to find a workout buddy. There are many websites that are devoted to pairing up exercisers such as exercisefriends.com or sportsvite.com, as well as niche exercise websites that focus on pairing up individuals with less-popular fitness activities such as rock climbing or scuba diving.
Running is perhaps one of the best, albeit most challenging ways, to burn calories and condition your heart. There are a few secrets to starting and developing a safe and effective running program.
Your running shoes are the most important piece of athletic equipment you can buy. In fact, choosing the right ones can make or break you as a runner. For example, if you have flat feet, you should look for a shoe with motion control, pronation control and stability. In contrast, if you have high arches, look for a shoe that is described as “flexible.” If you have normal feet, your choices will be greater. However, the old adage, “don't fix what ain't broken” applies. Resist the temptation to add stability controls that are unnecessary. Make sure that you find a shoe that is appropriate for the width of your foot. Choose a store that has a reputation for knowledgeable sales help. Runners World has an excellent shoe finder.
Progress with Caution
Most people start with a walking program, and gradually build up to a run. For example, you might start with 15 minutes of brisk walking and five minutes of running. Your other option is to alternate five minute intervals of running and walking. If you decide to begin your running program in inclement weather, you might want to consider an indoor treadmill training program.
Are you starting (or restarting) a fitness program? Or are you embarking on a new and more structured exercise plan rather than the sporadic workouts that you have done in the past? Start by reviewing the basic exercise principles and checking out the trends in women's fitness by picking up a current issue of a women's fitness magazine.
Women's fitness magazines include the latest information about nutrition and exercise, and they will also bring you up-to-date on the latest gear and accessories, including sports bras, sports watches, music players and the right shoes and sports apparel for your body type and activity.
Some women's fitness magazines even offer customized personal training programs that let you sign up to receive workout advice and inspiration by email.
Stretching is essential to women's fitness. It is vital to stretch before and after you work out in order to prevent injury. Stretching will increase your flexibility and warm up your muscles. Stretch after your workouts to prevent sore muscles. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Many womens fitness centers offer yoga or Pilates classes if you want to improve your flexibility. Here are some basic stretches you should always do before you work out that target your major muscle groups: