Everyone starts their exercise program with a lot of excitement especially at the beginning of the year as part of their new year’s resolutions. It is important to consider why you’re beginning an exercise program, what your eventual goals are, what obstacles you are likely to face, If your goals are clearly defined and manageable and so on.
Here are a few things to consider before starting an exercise program
1. Your health
Keeping physically active is important for a healthy lifestyle. You however need to assess your health before starting any exercise routine. If you are taking any medication, have bone or joint problems, have diabetes or heart disease you might need to consult your doctor first as these problems might interfere with your workout.
2. Set realistic goals
Before embarking on a fitness routine, It is important to set clear and realistic goals that you can reach, doing workouts you know you can complete, and giving yourself some incentive to keep going.
3. Fitness takes time
It takes time and patience to see any changes after starting a work-out routine. The time it takes for you to see (and others to notice) weight loss results can vary from person to person. Many factors, including your starting size and your eating plan, can make a big difference.
4. Learn to eat properly
You will need to change your diet once you start exercising regularly. Your muscles will require more proteins and complex carbohydrates to grow and recover after a workout. You can eat a healthy breakfast or meal that contains bananas on the morning of your exercise, or at least two hours prior to physical activity. Your body also benefits from pre-workout meals that include protein, such as lean meats or fresh fish, as a complement to your carbohydrates
5. Expect to lose motivation
If you’re trying to lose weight or get in shape, you may find yourself losing interest a few weeks into your program. To avoid de-motivation, it is important to be consistent and focus on your goals. If you follow a strict exercise routine, it can be boring at some point. To avoid this try something new like looking for a training partner, buying new gym clothes or using different equipment.
6. Know when to stop
When your body exercises, cellular damage occurs. This is because you are training to some degree past your comfort zone, which results in your body adapting to become stronger. So, for a time after exercise, you’ll typically feel sore, or fatigued. Your body then needs time to rebuild the damage to become stronger. If you cause a significant amount of stress to your body while it has not had time to repair itself, overtraining occurs. Burnout is normal, and can typically be avoided by keeping workouts to a few days a week with plenty of rest in between.
7. Avoid dehydration
Whether you’re a serious athlete or simply exercise for recreation, it’s important to stay hydrated. Good hydration means getting the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints
8. Exercise can be uncomfortable
Exercise can cause soreness. If you are out of shape or push yourself too much or do unusual exercise, you might experience muscle soreness and joint pains.
9. Use proper equipment and sportswear
Use proper equipment to achieve your goals and avoid injury. Different sports have different requirements for footwear, and it is beneficial to wear sports-specific shoes. For example, a running shoe has more cushioning for shock absorption than a basketball shoe, which provides more lateral ankle support for sudden stops and starts on the court. It is also important to dress appropriately during exercise, especially in extremes of weather. Porous clothing is recommended in hot weather, and adequate hydration in these conditions is extremely important. In general, thick, heavy clothing can lead to excessive sweating, which causes the body to lose heat more rapidly and may increase the risk of hypothermia. In colder weather, dressing in layers is recommended.
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