Fitness for Beginners
When It Comes to a New Fitness Routine,
Take It Slow
Your body will tell you if you’re doing too much, too fast.
There are a handful of general adages you can apply to just about every aspect of your life. ‘Everything in moderation’, ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’, and ‘don’t take wooden nickels’ are just a few.
When it comes to your new fitness routine, ‘Walk before you run’ may be the most important exercise tip you can follow.
‘Walk before you run’ is figurative, of course. Going for a run on day one is a perfect way to start your new routine.
But how far, how long and how fast should you run? How many reps should you do? How much time should you spend in the gym, on the yoga mat or riding your bike?
How crucial are these questions to the success of any new exercise routine? Just ask the people who make a living whipping others into shape…
Of 100 professional fitness trainers and instructors surveyed by Vibram, makers of FiveFingers minimalist footwear, 73 cited ‘start slow and build gradually’ as their #1 or #2 recommendation for those starting a new workout routine. And 51 of these experts say this is also the most ignored piece of advice.
Doing too much, too soon is a sure-fire way to doom a new workout routine before you can start seeing the results you want.
The best way to define ‘too much’? Talk to a fitness professional. Sign up for a few sessions with a personal trainer or talk to someone at your gym. If funds are low or you don’t belong to a gym, seek out guidance on fitness blogs and forums. There are tons of qualified people who want you to succeed, and are willing and able to help.
There’s another way to find out if you’re going overboard right off the bat: ‘listen and react to your body.’ This exercise tip is the #1 or #2 piece of advice of 59% of surveyed trainers.
Feeling muscle soreness the day after exercise is not only normal, it’s good. It means your muscles are repairing themselves and getting stronger.
But if you experience pain or achiness that makes it impossible to workout two days later, you’re probably doing too much and need to pull back on the length or difficulty of your exercise routine.
The physical toll of ‘too much, too soon’ is only part of the concern. It can also leave you disheartened and frustrated. And this mental wear-and-tear has ended just as many new fitness routines as sore knees and tweaked hammies.
Follow these two simple – yet often cast-aside – pieces of advice: ‘take it slow’ and ‘listen to your body’ – and the results you want will come.
Which sounds an awful lot like another truism passed down through the ages: ‘the best things come to those who wait.’
Source: 2011 Vibram Five Finger Fitness Survey.