Happy New Years to all of you! With a fresh start, many of us make resolutions or goals for the new year. For many people, some of these resolutions involve health and fitness. The beginning of the year is a great time to go to the gym, whether it’s your regular routine or you’r just starting. With more people looking to excercise this time of year, I wanted to share 5 things that I think are important when it comes to fitness. I am no fitness expert but I think these things are important.
1. Do your research – Similiar to most things in life, your best chance of success is with preparation. Know what you are getting yourself into. Excercise and fitness involves your health and the overall well being of your body and you should know everything possible before working out. Research and preparation are ways to reduce the likelihood of injury and increase the chances of success.
2. STRETCH – Regardless of your age, stretching is crucial. Stretching loosens up the muscles and prepares them for the workout ahead. Avoiding or disregarding stretching can lead to injury, muscle tightness, and soreness.
3. Start off slow – Regardless of your fitness goal, whether losing or gaining weight, muscle, mass, ect, it’s not going to happen overnight. If you’re new to excercising, start off small. Easing your way into a workout routine will help your body into a smooth transition and will help you avoid taking on too much at one time. Instead of trying to run 5 miles your first day, start off at half a mile or a mile and build up your endurance.
4. More weight isn’t always better – One of the keys to working out and especially weighlifting is form. Form dictates the effectiveness of the muscle and how well you achieve isolation. Lifting too much weight can impair form and not only make the excercise ineffective, it can also cause injury. For example, let’s say you are working out your biceps. If you can curl 15 pounds in a smooth manner by using JUST your biceps, you are isolating the muscle and doing the excercise effectively. Now let’s say you try to lift a heavier weight, let’s say 30 pounds, You lift a heavier weight and because it’s so heavy, you arch your back to give your arms the strength to lift the weight. You are now using your back to assist you which takes some of the pressure away from arms, no longer isolating the muscle. The workout becomes less effective and if the weight is heavy enough, lead to injury.
5. It’s a mindset! – Excercising isn’t appealing to everyone and while some people love it, others do not share the same sentiment. As a result, it’s hard to find the motivation or energy to get in the gym. Just know that you really can do it! All you need is a mindset. If you continue to work out and excercise, it will transform from something you “have to do”, into a hobby, and finally into a lifestyle. Ultimately, you will end up feeling great!
These are just some things I thought were important regarding fitness. Always consult a physician before excercising to find out your limitations. Be safe and have fun!