Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Don't Sweat It!

We all know that starting a workout plan can be overwhelming. It may start fun and end with second day soreness that leaves you less than motivated. At the gym it sometimes occurs as though everyone is buzzing about seamlessly and yet you may find yourself utterly confused staring at a strange contraption wondering what to do. And getting back into a workout regimen can present another level of challenges because you are comparing your current fitness to where you were before.

Wherever you are at, don’t sweat it, everyone started from the beginning.  What matters most is that you keep getting back out there to exercise for the long-term health benefits and of course for the short term mood enhancing endorphins.

Why is it so hard to get back into working out?
Take a deep inhale, exhale and relax, we’ve all gone through this process. You will find it easier on the third day, and by the fourth you will gain confidence. Within four to six weeks you will be powering through your exercises and hopefully looking forward to them!  Need another push, check out this article on Huff Post.

Some tips that can help you succeed in a more active lifestyle:
- If you are a complete beginner consider working with a personal trainer if possible, at least until you feel like you have the proper form and assurance.

- Sign up for classes ahead of time if you can, whether it’s spinning, water aerobics, yoga or circuit training, commit to being there!

- Two is definitely better than one! Workout with a friend, if you are both new, you can find your way together. If you can exercise with someone who as more experience, even better, they can lend a hand.

- Wear comfortable moisture-wicking clothing that has plenty of stretch or feels loose and breathable.

- If you are unsure about something, ask for help, most of your fellow workout goers are more than happy to assist you if they can. Just make sure to catch someone who is in between sets. Otherwise find a staff member.

- Hydrate! A good rule of thumb when exercising is 20 oz. per hour.  And as we’ve all heard eight 8 oz. glasses a day.

- Go easy on yourself, don’t push too hard during your first two weeks of working out. You’ll know you’ve been a bit too aggressive if you can barely walk after a workout. If you find yourself in this position definitely take an easy day of low impact movement like walking, cycling or swimming.  Following a recovery day, take a rest day, then get back out there. One or two off days here or there don’t make a difference, but if you keep skipping workouts because you are too sore, you are heading towards a path of endless ‘rest’ days.

- Do not worry about being overweight…remember we all start somewhere. An awesome way to look at it is that your progress will be more visible and you’ll be progressively more motivated when you see it. Definitely, snap a before photo of yourself and after a few months you will be amazed at your results.  Consistency pays off.

- Balance your workouts so you feel challenged but also have days of play.  When increasing your intensity do so gradually.  When building mileage while preparing for a race I do so 10% at a time.  The general flow of the building phase increases for two to three weeks then I have a ‘step back’ week.  During these weeks I take an extra rest day and scale back each of my workouts in intensity or overall length.  Step back weeks let your body recover and heal to build a strength.  The trick is to only let them last a week!

In time I have no doubt you will inspire the people in your life to join you and before you know it exercise will be a non-negotiable in your schedule.

Note: To your workout plan, add ACE. This will speed up the loss by curbing your appetite.

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