Your body is a message. It conveys your mindset to other people. Therefore, the way you are built and the way you carry yourself will inform your social status. While it may be a bitter pill to swallow, this is an undeniable fact of life. First impressions matter.
Is it true that looks are not everything? Absolutely, but you should never forget that humans are social creatures that put a lot of stock in looks. With that in mind, you may want to up your game and adopt an exercise routine in order to retain that look which radiates confidence. If you still have a long way to go in order to get there, here are 7 tried and true workout tips for first-timers.
1. Drink water consistently
One of the first tenets of a fitness lifestyle is consistent hydration. Many first-timers are either unaware of its importance or make a rookie mistake of over-hydrating. It will raise your blood pressure and keep your body’s water wells replenished as you sweat the toxins out.
Do not force water down your throat. 8 glasses of water a day is not a real measure of anything! Every metabolism has different needs, so never accept universal numbers for anything fitness-related. A seasoned workout expert will confirm as much.
Apart from that, you should know that consistent hydration does not merely raise your blood pressure. It keeps it balanced. Combine this disciplined hydration with daily magnesium intake, and you are golden!
2. Prioritize posture
Since you are a beginner, your first steps on your fitness journey should be reasonable. Do not try to push yourself beyond your limits as you might end up with an injury. For starters, concentrate on doing the posture right.
This is vital when you’re lifting weights or using exercise machines, so it would be wise to have a supervisor at your disposal, at least to keep you in check for the first couple of sessions. The right posture prevents injury and forces you to contract muscles as intended. Crucially, it helps you correct your entire body posture in the long run!
3. Invest in quality accessories
Some may roll their eyes and claim that this line of thinking is a typical product of late capitalism, but it is absolutely crucial to invest in a proper gym wardrobe. If you do not believe this, just try to do an intense and grueling workout with the first thing you find in your closet. Most of what you already own wasn't meant to work out in, so doing so can make you feel uncomfortable, cause friction and create rashes in the most inconvenient areas.
Invest in a pair of flexible boxers, a breathable athletic shirt and a pair of appropriate shoes, possibly coupled with two pairs of socks that you will use only for workout purposes. Comfort is just as important as effort.
4. Rest between sets
Your workout session is going great. The surge of endorphins peaks your enthusiasm half-way through, and you are certain that you can power-through multiple sets in a row. This is a typical rookie mistake! If you go down this route, you will feel like a wreck for a full week, and this will break your winning streak. Patience beats eagerness every time, in life as well as fitness.
Take your time and take a break between sets. It can last anywhere from 30 and 60 seconds, depending on the exercise’s level of difficulty. If you are not adept at determining whether you need a shorter or a longer pause after a set, a supervisor can help you out. This is also where a gym buddy may come in handy (more on that later).
5. Sharp, controlled bursts
Now that you have adopted certain disciplinary measures for your workouts, you might want to mix things up a bit. It is always good to surprise your body with something new if you want to achieve better results.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT for short), is highly endorsed by Tobias Young in this set of tips for beginners. This type of training is something you can do on your own time, and it basically entails ‘sharp and controlled bursts’ of anaerobic exercises.
A HIIT session usually lasts for 30 minutes at the most, but you shouldn’t aim for a specific time. The point is to exercise until you are too exhausted to continue. This can significantly improve your endurance. You can refer once more to Walk Jog Run for the best pair of sneakers for running on asphalt that can render your intense running sessions even more satisfying.
6. Rest is golden
Will more workout sessions will give you better results? Not necessarily if you are a beginner. In fact, it may have the opposite effect! Your body will not get enough rest to recuperate, so it will suffer from constant inflammation and wear you down. This is your typical ‘burnout’.
After a week of going too hard on yourself, the mood swings will begin and you will feel lethargic. This is why recovery time is so important, and don’t forget that it also entails healthy sleeping patterns. Three sessions a week is just enough for a beginner.
7. Get a gym buddy
Gym buddy is a convenient life hack for self-motivation. They can keep you in check, make sure that you are always at the gym’s doorstep on time and they will see to it that you do not skimp on your sets. Also, they can offer encouragement when things get tough and crack a joke or two when sets get too hard. Of course, you should reciprocate all of these gym buddy perks in order to ensure that the ‘partnership’ lasts.
If you are a fitness enthusiast without experience, it is only natural that you will eagerly anticipate your first results quickly. However, this mindset will lead you down the path of disappointment. It takes a lot of hard work to reach the goal you’ve envisioned for yourself. Just like all worthwhile things, a good posture and strong muscles require patience and commitment.