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How to Start a Workout Plan and Stick to It?

Updated on March 10, 2014
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What to do before lifting the weights or run a mile?

Starting a workout plan is one of the most important thing to improve health. Workouts and exercises help to reduce risk of chronic diseases, gives balance, help burn fats, even give better sleep and self-esteem. The best part is it can be done in just a few simple steps.

Assessing fitness level
You likely have a few idea about your fitness level. Measuring and recording your baseline fitness scores can provide criteria to assess workout progress. To evaluate cardio and muscular strength, flexibility and body framework, record the following:

  • Record your pulse rate before and after walking 1 mile (1.6 kilometers)
  • The time after you finished walking 1 mile (1.6 kilometers)
  • Number of push-ups you can do at a time
  • How far you can extend forward while seated on the floor
  • Waistline as measured around your abdomen above the hipbone
  • Body mass index

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Workout guidelines

Committing for a daily workout is a challenge. You will need a step-by-step plan to guide you. While constructing a workout plan, keep these ideas in mind:

Evaluate workout objectives - Are you working out to loss weightt? Is there other motivation, for example preparing for a swimming competition? Setting a clear objectives will help measure your success.

Begin a balanced workout plan- Most adults should prefer a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-level aerobic workout or 75 minutes of strenuous aerobic exercise for one week. Adults normally need 2 or more days of strength-training each week.

Proceed at your own pace - If you're just starting, begin with care and advance gradually. In case you got injured, seek advice from a health care provider or a physical therapist for assistance and arrange a workout program that steadily improves your flexibility, strength and endurance.

Including a workout in your daily routine - Workout schedule is often an obstacle. To be successful, plan your workout routine like any other appointment. Find a way to watch your favorite TV program while walking on the treadmill, or read while riding a stationary bike.

Try to integrate other activities - Other activities or cross-training will keep exercise boredom to a minimum. Cross-training normally minimizes your likelihood of injuring or overusing one specific muscle or joint. Alternate your workouts and focus on other areas of your body, try walking, hiking or swimming.

Give some time for recovery - Most people get into exercise with frantic passion doing a workout too long or too seriously and quit when their muscles and joints get painful or injured. Organize your workout schedules to give your body rest and recover.

Make a draft of your workout plan- A drafted program motivate you to remain on the right track.

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Setting up workout equipment

Choosing the right fitness shoes is the way to start. Use fitness shoes intended for the training. In case you're considering buying fitness equipment, go for a functional, enjoyable and simple to operate. Try some models at a gym before getting your own equipment. To stretch your money, consider acquiring second hand equipment. Or be innovative. Make your own dumbbells by stuffing old socks with pebbles or pennies, or by loading a half-gallon jug with water or sand and fixing the tops with duct tape.

Starting your workout plan

Now you're prepared for some action. As you start your workout plan, keep these pointers into consideration:

You can begin slowly and improve gradually - Provide yourself lots of time to warm-up and cool-down with simple walking or light stretching. Then increase to a pace you can maintain for 5 to 10 minutes without getting exceedingly tired. As your endurance improves, slowly increase the number of minutes you exercise. Then progress around 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

Always have a workout break - You don't have to make most of your exercise at once. Shorter but more-frequent sessions have aerobic advantages, too. Fifteen minutes of physical fitness a few times daily may go with your routine preferable to a single 30-minute exercise routine.

Be creative - Most likely your workout plan comes with several activities, like walking, bicycling or swimming. But don't end there. Do hiking in the weekends with your family or spend a night ballroom dancing.

Pay attention to your body - If you feel some aches, difficulty of breathing, dizziness or headaches, have a rest. You are likely pressing yourself too much.

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Monitoring workout progress

Your workout progress needs rechecking after 6 weeks you start the program and then again every 3 to 6 months. Remember to increase the number of minutes in your workout to keep on improving. In case your losing motivation, establish new plans or consider a new task. Working out with someone or taking a course at a fitness center will be helpful, too. Starting an exercise program is a major decision. However it doesn't need to be a confusing one. By planning properly and facing your doubts, you can develop a healthful habit that can surely benefit you in the long run.

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Injury prevention tips for the beginning exerciser

It is unfortunate that, more than half of those who start an exercise program give up within six months. Common reasons are going to extremes, injuring a muscle or not getting quick results. To help deal with these issues and on your path to workout success, there are a few basic guidelines you should understand.

  • Inactive people who toss themselves into a punishing workout can be overly tired, achy and inflexible, they also increase their risk of heart attack. The essence is to get fit gradually.
  • You should start and end each workout with a warm-up and a cool-down interval. There are no exceptions to this rule. Warming-up and cooling-down will help avoid injury and swelling. A warm-up involves 5 or more minutes of low-level aerobic workout followed by mild stretches (don't stretch first, when muscles are cold ), making your heart rate steadily increases and the muscles eventually get warm as blood flow speeds up . A trainer will begin an aerobic class or video like this; if you're doing exercises unaided, simply begin with a short walk or jog in position. To cool down, move around slowly until your heart rate is below 100 beats per minute (16 to 17 using a 10-second count). This can be very important for older women; bypassing cool-down process can rapidly reduce your blood pressure potentially causing you to faint and triggering muscle cramps.
  • Approximately 20% of weight-training injuries involve the back and spine. Proper training before doing a workout on equipment is important, and often the first workout session with a personal trainer is free when you enroll in a work out center.
  • If exercise produces chest pain, irregular heartbeat, unnecessary fatigue, dizziness, sudden breathlessness or light-headedness, stop right away and contact a medical professional.
  • Don't exercise when exhausted or if you have an immediate illness such as flu. It is possible, however, to continue exercise with a minor flu, though it is important to limit your intensity.
  • Wear the right shoes. Wearing the right shoes will support the ankle and provide shock reduction. A number of sports stores have staffs qualified to assist you select the right shoe. Frequent exercisers have to buy brand new shoes about every year. Socks are extremely important as well. In a similar fashion, wear comfortable outfits that won't mess up or itch your skin.
  • High-impact workouts is where your feet receives pressure from activities such as running as well as aerobics programs, can lead to a number of injuries, from swelling in the shins to ringing in the ears. The first line of safety is an excellent pair of shoes. Second, modify some of your workout and alternate simple and tough workouts. Make sure to warm up, cool down not to mention stretch.
  • Cross-training on a regular basis switching from one activity to another - works great and beneficial than staying with the same exercise for too long, not just to prevent boredom, but different actions affects other muscle areas.
  • In cases that it's very hot outside, perhaps do your training in the early morning or indoor. Overheating or hyperthermia is often a serious condition in hot weather areas. If you are doing exercises outside under hot weather and feel dizzy, vomiting, having some headache, hyperventilation, sudden exhaustion, not sweating or losing concentration, stop at once, take a seat in a comfortable, dry place, and drink lots of water. If your temperature surges to 104 degrees and above, bring down your body temperature by using ice packets.
  • Don't train with a full stomach, but drink enough liquids throughout the training session. Water is the most effective drink for staying properly hydrated. Sports beverages contain loads of sugar and calories and are really only necessary for athletes or if you are working out rigorously for over 45 minutes.
  • During strength training workouts, breathe gently and rhythmically. This will help to avert increased blood pressure. Exhale as the motion starts and inhale as you return to the starting position.
  • Do not overwork your joints while in strength training activities and it is important to wait 48 hrs before you work on the same muscle again.
  • While stretching, make sure you breathe properly. Holding your breath can increase your blood pressure. Clench the stretch for 10 to 60 seconds, and breathe out while moving into the stretch.
  • When performing stretches that include the back, turn the pelvis to maintain a flat lower back and not curved.
  • Don't fall into the trick of purchasing costly and confusing workout equipment. All you need at home is an excellent pair of shoes, a workout mat for cushion and hassle-free equipment like hand weights. A weighted vest, flexible exercise bands or an aerobic step are beneficial, cost-effective purchases.
  • Don't expect instant success. It requires about 12 weeks before noticing decent results.

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