Is it wise to start an exercise program from scratch?
Start an exercise program from scratch?
Often those well-toned people will always give you one response whenever you enquire for the secret and it is exercise. It is a word that we are all so familiar with, love to talk about, but most of us hardly ever go past the talking part why? Because it requires hard work, commitment and patience, and very few of us have these in us, let alone for exercise so we will think about it, plan how to start a routine, procrastinate it or yet begin it and quit after two days.
The importance of exercise in our lives is a no-brainer. We need it to stay in physical shape; to avoid some of those unnecessary trips to the Doctor. How come then, even after knowing all this most of us still end up missing our goals? Why do we start then quit halfway? Or why do we plan to start, then never start at all?
Defining your goals
There are multiple reasons to start exercising. Many people will want to lose weight, either for health or simply to look good. Both are equally valid. Some people exercise to get stronger. Some exercise for fun, or to compete in a sport. Often a Dr. might enforce a regime of light exercise to prevent further medical issues, such as heart disease or diabetes.
There are a number of issues one should address before committing themselves to fitness exercise regardless of whether you are familiar with it or you are just starting out. First of all, it is important to decide exactly what you want to achieve from exercise, what is your goal? Which parts of the body you want to improve?
The second step is the most important and one that most of us disregard so often. It is paramount to consult a doctor before you go off to shed some gallons of sweat and give yourself a pat on the back for being a grinder. Consulting a doctor will help you choose the right exercise for you and not only avoid meeting your goal but also save you from triggering a health condition that might have been lying dormant, hidden in your body all the while.
A consultation with the doctor will help those with sensitive health conditions select an exercise that does not jeopardise their health or take on just enough exercise that they can handle. Those who have health histories too, ought to consult a medic and if you feel fine to know that it’s always advisable to have some guidance, especially when delving into the unknown. Having a doctor guide you will also see you get the right health care and treatment should a complication arise and it’s important to work with a Doctor whom you’ve dealt with in the past and knows your health history well, say a family Doctor.
As you start off your fitness program, it is best to have a trainer help rather than go it alone. This is because a trainer is well informed and has vast experience to help you achieve your goal straight away. A personal trainer also serves as your biggest exercise fan and encourages you on those days you are too fatigued and on the verge of throwing in your sweaty towel. However, not everyone can afford a personal trainer because they neither come free nor cheap and some of the people just prefer to work out from home. Truth is you can work out from anywhere; it doesn’t have to necessarily be a room furnished with pricey looking equipment crowded with sweaty people you can work out even in the comfort of your backyard, hotel room for a regular business traveller who has no time getting a gym membership as long as you stay in shape. A trainer is simply there to guide you in the right execution of your routine to make the exercises more efficient and keep you injury free. No matter your choice of exercise it is very likely that you will encourage injury if you do not perform them correctly.
In this era of the internet, there is always a wide array of information at your disposal for your consumption thus you can always consult “Uncle Google” on the right exercise regimen for you. Despite all that we can find from the internet and books and the self-proclaimed exercise pundits that we have around us, one should always be careful not to be misled. A lot of information can sometimes be overwhelming and we might be tempted to savour all of them in our desperation to achieve our exercise goal faster, thus it is advisable to stick to a certain routine and observe the results rather than alternate your routine every often which will only lead you to give up when you do not lose any weight for instance.
When exercising ensure to start small however enthusiastic you feel. Starting big will only serve to discourage you when fatigue sets in. It might also pose a risk to your health if you are suffering from say, asthma, heart conditions, arthritis et al. Begin with a task you can lightly take on without feeling overburdened. Physical fitness should comprise of work and fun to bring out the feel good hormones in you not make you feel like the entire world is tumbling on your bones. You can upgrade your fitness routine as you progress because by then you shall have built the muscles to take on more weight and challenging tasks.
In short, there are five simple steps that if followed you shall achieve your weight loss mission with ease
- Get assessed by a medical professional – To help determine if it is safe to carry on with your mission and help prevent you from harming yourself or complicating your health negatively.
- Get assessed by a fitness professional/trainer – To assess the areas of your body that need to be trained. Your current fitness level, your strength and flexibility. A professional trainer will be able to determine what areas you should need to work on. For example, tight hips, weak glutes limited thoracic mobility.
- Make sure that your trainer is giving you a tailored plan and not some generic copy to help achieve your goal faster and easier. Not all trainers are dedicated professionals. Each person is different and a template program may not suit everyone. Make sure that you work with your trainer to highlight your problem areas and explain your goals so they may create a tailored workout program to help you reach them.
- Learn appropriate technique for chosen exercise – do this with a trainer for a few sessions, then with an experienced partner. Learn how your body should move and be aware of safety measures that you need to adhere to. Many people are truly unaware how their body actually moves. if your shoulders slouch, your neck extends or your feet turn out. A skilled trainer will work with you through a range of motions to tire you out. When you are tired the more likely that any errors in your movement will show through. They will then work with you to correct these errors.
- Re-assess your goals after set intervals and adjust accordingly. After several weeks and/or months you will be noticing changes. You will have learned more about your body and fitness in general. It is wise to re-asses your goals at set stages in your progression. Many people start to exercise to lose weight, and have an ideal weight target in mind. Often, they do not need to weigh less but simply need to improve posture and muscle strength to have the desired effect. This is a good example of when to re-assess a goal as the target may change from losing weight to gaining strength.
Alex Morgan – Currently studying in Dublin, Alex is a career writer, by choice! Versed in a number of subjects he mainly specialises in tech, education, health and fitness and gaming; of the video variety. He posts on a number of blogs and websites and harbours desires to begin a great novel, but struggles creating character names – Look for the epic fantasy “Tom the Barbarian” on shelves soon.
He can often be found on twitter under the handle @Al_Exical. He finds it comforting to talk about himself in the third person.