Easing yourself into exercise: Steps to start
Tips to kick off a realistic fitness regime
No matter who we are, if we’re starting exercise for the very first time or even after a long break, we’re not going to go at Usain Bolt speed. Getting fit is a journey and takes patience and perseverance, but there are some things you can do to make sure you ease your way into it all to make the start point as easy at it can be:
Lets face it, sweat is going to be present. When we exercise we’re losing the water out of our bodies quickly. Making sure you’re well hydrated before exercise is key, but this does not mean chugging a bottle of water 10 mins before you get active. Check out our hydration article for top tips.
If we’re tired and go out to try and exercise, we may turn ourselves off from starting again. Making sure you’ve had enough to eat (about 1-2 hours before exercise) is key. Also making sure that you’ve had enough sleep and aren’t exhausted when you first start out on your programme. Exercise gives us energy, but when we’re starting out, you want to give your body and mind the best chance to keep it going.
And you’re off! Sprinting along and all…..CRAMP. When you’re first getting going with working out, pacing yourself and breaking up the sessions are key, to build up to a level of fitness. So walk, run, walk, run. Breaking up the cycle, walk, run, swim or whatever it is you're into is key, so that you get your body used to exercising. So nice and slow to start, build up the intensity, and back to slow, then repeat.
We want to keep things cheap, but sometimes setting a goal like the local 5km, charity cycle or swim can be a good way to get you kicked off with exercise. Once you’re signed up, post it up on social media; if it’s public knowledge you might be more committed to your goal!
Warm up and warm down
You want to be able to feel ok after getting out for your first few sessions. So your warm up and warm down are essential. Light jogging or brisk walking is a good way to warm up. Finish your work out a bit away from your house so you aren’t tempted to just sit down. If you are doing something inside, try jogging on the spot. Stretching is also key, to keep your muscles from getting too stiff, here’s a good stretching chart for you: