Three Considerations for the Novice Exerciser

As a beginner, exercise might seem overwhelming. There are a myriad of choices, from the treadmill to the elliptical, the dumbbell to the machine, the swimming pool versus the…well, hot tub? Maybe.

And it may be tough to start. But we, as Americans, need it.

Here are some statistics:

  • Today’s youth spend more than 7.5 hours per day in front of a screen
  • By 2030, it’s predicted that half of all U.S. adults will be obese
  • Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of activity per day

So, where do you start if you’re brand new to the exercise scene? Here are some suggestions.

1: Start Small

Quick question: What is the most popular form of exercise for U.S. citizens above the age of 15? You may have guessed it. The answer is walking.

Starting small is important for those new to exercising. Setting a goal that is too ambitious can lead to discouragement, decreased motivation, and a struggle to get going again.

Set yourself a small goal and make a commitment. Write it down and read it aloud every morning. Some examples of small goals are:

I will walk thirty minutes today

I will take the stairs every day this week to the office

I will go to the gym three times this week

Starting small is key. Then you can work up from there.

2: Choose Your Setting

Some people are gym rats. Other people love the outdoors, while some people love classes.

Settings are crucial for motivation. For some people, running on the side of the road or biking through a large park, or hiking through a forest are what gets them up in the morning.

For others, the community within a gym, the call of the weights, the allure of the machines, and the possibility of steam rooms and hot tubs call to them.

Still others want that class where they learn how to dance, fight, perform martial arts, or Zumba while burning calories and gaining strength.

Whatever gives you motivation is key. With that, you can burn more calories and get into better shape quicker than with others activities.

3: Select Your Equipment

Exercise equipment comes in all shapes and sizes. The right exercise equipment can help you reach your goals, while the incorrect one can hinder those goals or (at worst) cause injury.

If you’re a runner, you have the option of a treadmill or the streets.

If you’re a skier, the stand-up rock machine and the elliptical can help.

And if you’re a weight lifter, there are any numbers of things you can lift to gain muscle.

Really, when it comes your equipment, you need to select your goal. Whatever your goals are, there are paths to achieve them. Burning fat is generally a cardio activity, which means getting that heart rate going, your blood pumping and that sweat dripping. To gain muscle, you need to lift heavy to breakdown your muscles so that they can be repaired.

Exercise equipment can be found at a sports store or fitness store or online by searching “gym equipment” or “fitness equipment.”

In conclusion, start small, choose your setting, select your equipment, and maybe most importantly of all, have fun. Exercising might seem like dull work but over time it can lead to great changes in your mental and physical life. It’s worth it.

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