“Every expert was once a beginner.”
If you’re just heading into the realm of fitness, then congratulations! You’ve just embarked upon an amazing journey that you’re sure to never regret.
To aid you on this epic journey, I decided to compile a few essential fitness tips to help you out. Follow these tips, and you’ll be sure to see results in no time!
1. Warming Up
Never neglect this portion of your exercise, especially as you get older. It’s crucial that you do some physical activity, whether it be walking, jogging, or dynamic stretching, before engaging in the actual workout.
Think of it this way. Ever played a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) before? Dota 2, League of Legends, and Heroes of the Storm come to mind.
When you first enter the game, you don’t go in with all your abilities and items being handed to you. No, you start off at a measly level 1. You need to take the time and the effort to level up your hero, and to farm that glorious gold to buy all those sweet items.
The same goes for fitness. You don’t just dash into your workout (a higher level encounter) without doing the necessary preparatory steps first. Do your warm ups. It’ll not only help you perform better by increasing your blood circulation and activating your central nervous system, but also protect you from any unnecessary injuries due to tight muscles.
(There is a proper way to do warm ups though, and unfortunately most people get them wrong. Really wrong. Make sure to check out another piece I’ve written about how to do warm ups properly!)
2. Tracking your progress
The next important fitness tip would be to always track your progress. It’s only by recording down what you were able to achieve in the last session will you be able to then prepare yourself to improve in the next session.
I know, this might seem like a tedious process, and at times you might think that it takes the fun out of a workout, whereby you just want to go in there and smash up some weights.
But here’s the reality of the situation. If you’re just going to the gym to workout, to bounce from weight to weight or machine to machine, that’s fine, you’re getting a workout. But that’s all its ever going to be, a nice pump, a feel-good emotion with little tangible results.
On the other hand, if you’re going to the gym to train, to stick to a well designed training plan that is progressive in nature, then that’s results orientated. And you’re going to reach your goal so much quicker.
There’s a big difference between going to the gym to train, and going to the gym for a workout. Only by consistently keeping track will you be able to see how awesome you are, and how to improve on the next round.
Lastly, one of the most overlooked fitness tips that I can give to you would be to sleep right.
Sleeping is our natural way of recovery, and is essential to our overall health. I wrote a related article about muscle growth and why rest is so important for it; feel free to check it out here.
However, in a nutshell, your body is only able to repair and reconstruct tissue when you are resting, and not while you are working out. I cannot emphasize this enough. This dynamic literally means that all your workouts and exercises will be for naught if you don’t get the appropriate amount of rest.
There is more than enough research out there that recommends at least 8 hours of sleep a day, and even more in times of increased stress (stress is not only mental and emotional, but can be physical too, especially when you start to workout, and ).
Often, taking a brief nap of 20 to 30 minutes in the afternoons can also be highly beneficial. It will make your brain sharper, more alert and also promote faster recovery from intense exercise.
Here are some tips to optimize your sleep:
- Avoid exercising late at night, especially before sleeping
- Avoid irregular sleeping patterns. Don’t sleep for 11 hours one night, and 5 the next. You’re not a robot, and this doesn’t add up to a total of 16 hours of sleep. A true sleep bank does not exist.
- Avoid alcohol, as it greatly disrupts REM sleep. You may knockout after a heavy drinking session, but the quality of sleep you get afterwards becomes really low
- Create a suitable sleeping environment. Keep the room as dark and quiet as possible (Don’t worry, Spawn won’t appear. I hope). Playing some soft classical music as you drift off into sleep has also been known to help
And that’s a wrap! I hope these fitness tips were helpful for you guys that are just starting out on your fitness journey.
As always, if you’ve any questions at all, feel free to fire away. We were all beginners once, and there’s no such thing as a stupid question!
Interested in training together with me? Click HERE to get in touch with me, and I’ll be more than happy to get to know you!