The Starting Point

Recently someone I love very much asked me for help starting a fitness routine. Now, I am no fitness expert and certainly not a personal trainer, but I decided to help this person because I know how intimidating the world of fitness can be. There are so many different ways to exercise. There are so many different variations of an exercise. Our social media feeds are flooded with self proclaimed fitness experts and wellness coaches. It’s hard to separate the truth from all the bullshit. But that is an area where I can help.

The key for beginners is to start slowly and gently. Build up to that fat torching, sweat drenched workout. You see the mistake most beginners make is starting out too big too fast. Sure, you slayed that boot camp day 1; you might have even survived day 2, but guarantee that by day 3 the pain of a new workout will have set in. Muscle soreness doesn’t adequately describe the pain a newbie feels the morning after that first hard fitness session. The pain is usually coupled by fatigue and that’s when you get derailed. You skip your workout because you’re too sore and too tired. You say you’ll do it tomorrow, and you really mean it. But tomorrow comes and goes and you’re back where you started – sedentary.

There is a better way to start. A good beginner workout should be quick. You shouldn’t have to plan more than 15 minutes. Everyone can find 15 minutes in their day no matter how busy they are. This eliminates the excuse of “I don’t have time.” A good beginner workout should consist of body weight exercises. This eliminates the need for equipment. It also means a person can do the workout anywhere. This eliminates the chance of getting derailed while traveling. Lastly, a good beginner workout should be challenging and elevate the heart rate but not to the extent that it leaves a person too sore and exhausted to move the next day. This frightens people off exercising.

If you google ‘beginner’s workout’ you’ll find no shortage of beginner level exercise plans. I suggested the five exercises below because together they work the whole body. They burn fat, increase strength, and build endurance. It’s a great starting point. I suggested this person perform the workout below five days a week for three weeks. By then they will have built up a habit of consistent daily exercise, stretched their muscles, and learned how to engage their core. Videos demonstrating proper technique and form for each of the exercises can be found on YouTube.

The Daily 5

1. 15 second plank.

2. Squats x10

3. Reverse lunges x10

4. Push ups x10

5. Jumping jacks x10

Rest 30 seconds

Repeat all 5 exercises

Rest 30 seconds

Repeat all 5 exercises

Remember to warm up and to cool down!

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