Things to consider as you get started

Starting up

You should consult a physician or healthcare provider before you start a new exercise program or routine.  If you are starting a new program, it is best to start slow and steady while maintaining a regular weekly plan, rather than having high intensity workouts irregularly thrown into your weekly routine.  By having a regular plan, you are more likely to stick with in long term and make positive lifestyle changes rather than following fads.

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Weekly Planning

You should start with 2 days of resistance training and 3 days of cardiovascular training, working up to 30 minutes per cardio session.  See here for benefits of aerobic cardio training.  Your resistance training sessions should hit your major muscle groups of your legs, core, back, chest, and arms.

Benefits of working out – exercise is great for you in so many ways!

Physical:

If you stick to an exercise routine you will build muscle, burn fat, and naturally boost your metabolism.  This becomes especially important with aging, as resistance training combat age-related obstacles such sarcopenia (muscle loss), and osteopenia (bone loss).  There are also significant systemic health benefits associated with exercising; to list a few, you decrease likelihood of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, Hypertension, and Heart Disease.

Mental benefits:

You will start to notice mental, and emotional benefits in addition to the physical changes as you get into a workout routine.  You boost your confidence once you start feeling and seeing the results.  Your self-esteem gets ramped up as you start to look and feel better, and also soaking up the accomplishments of completing each workout.  Exercising actually increases your cognitive functions well as increases your energy levels, making your day easier to manage.  Another added benefit of exercise can be the decreased cortisol, a hormone linked to stress, and increases in endogenous endorphinsthat make you feel good and can even lead to a euphoric feelings

Exercise tips for beginners – Rome wasn’t built in a day!

You should get in the mind-set of investing time and energy in your exercise routine for the long haul; making a lifestyle choice, rather than just going to the gym a couple times.  It helps you stick to your plan if you plan out your week ahead of time, write it down, and keep a daily log of your exercise.  If you plan to exercise in the morning, read this beforehand. As you stick to your plan, the results will come; don’t expect to see overnight changes in your body from one or two sessions.  Remember this is a process! Noticing that a pair of pants start to fit better can be just as important of a change as a number on the scale.

Also, as you get started, expect some acute muscle soreness the next day (or two) after working out hard.  This is known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), and is a sign that your workout is strengthening the muscles that you want!  This may be made better with light cardio and stretching.

Whole Body Resistance Beginner Workout Routine for Women

2-3 times per week, with 1-2 recovery days between resistance workouts

Squats: 2 sets x15 repetitions

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. While maintaining your trunk upright, inhale as you bend at hips and knees until you arrive at 90 degrees of knee bend (think as if you are sitting back into a chair). Keep weight in heels and don’t allow knees to move in front of toes. You should be able to see your toes at all times. Then exhale as you straighten knees to return to standing position without locking knees.

Simply effective beginner workout routine for women

Push Ups: 2×15

Start with your arms extended and hands on the ground below your shoulders.  Inhale and bend your elbow until it is at a 90 degree angle with you arm bone (humerus) parallel to the floor. Hold 1-2 seconds here, then push up while exhaling.  You can do on your knees, or on your toes for a more advanced set-up.

6 inch leg flutters: 2×20

Lie on your back and bring your heels 6 inches off the ground.  Hold here and alternate lifting your legs up, one at a time, to a spot 2 feet off the ground.

Lunges: 2×15 each leg

Start standing up with legs shoulder width apart.  Step forward 2-3 feet with one leg, and leave the other leg in place.  Lower your body down by bending your knees while keeping your torso upright and maintaining balance.  Inhale as you go down until you have a 90 degree bend in each knee when you reach the bottom.  Push up through your front heel and return leg to starting position.

Bent over rows: 2×15 each arm

Start with one knee bent on a bench, and the other leg extended to the floor.  Grab a dumbbell with the arm on the side of the straight let.  Start with arm straight, exhale as you bend your elbow and “row” the dumbbell towards your body.  Once the dumbbell reaches chest level, pause for a second, inhale and slowly let your arm straighten.

Hip ups: 2×15

Start on your back with your legs straight up in the air.  Crunch your abs in, exhale,  and raise your lower back off the ground as you raise your legs in the air.  Inhale as you slowly lower back to the ground.

Combine this with a balanced diet plan and you’ll see the difference in no time!

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