Any time is the perfect time to become a healthier you! It doesn’t matter your fitness level to start being more active. Sometimes those first few steps in the gym can be intimidating and scary, but the most important step is that you’ve made it there!
Your workouts don’t need to be complicated. It’s important for beginners to start slow and at a low level of intensity. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends working out 3-5 times each week for 20 to 60 minutes at a time. With this being said, beginners should aim for the lower end of that recommendation. As you grow stronger and improve endurance, you can start working out longer and harder!
Terms that are often heard regarding exercise:
“Cardio”: Cardio is short for cardiovascular activity. This is activity that raises your heart rate. Health Status says, “A stronger cardiovascular system means more capillaries delivering more oxygen to cells in your muscles. This enables your cells to burn more fat during both exercise and inactivity”.
Strength/Resistance Training: These are exercises to help increase muscular strength and endurance. This type is commonly done with free weights, weight machines, or resistance bands.
Flexibility: is your joints ability to move through a full range of motion. Maintaining good flexibility helps improve the way your body moves and feels.
Warm-Up: Prepare your body for exercise! This can be done with light aerobic activity to warm your muscles and increase blood flow.
Repetition/Rep: The number of times you perform a specific exercise.
Set: The number of times you perform your given numbers of reps (EX: for beginners, start with 2 sets of 10 repetitions)
Cool Down: The time near the end of your workout to lower your heart rate. This is a good time for stretching!
Maximum Heart Rate: To find yours subtract your age from 220. (EX: I’m 24, so my MaxHR is 196)
Forms of Exercises
Weight Machines: the weight machines are a great place for beginners to start. Weight machines are developed to be safe and isolate specific muscle groups. For example, there are machines that focus on the chest (push-movements), back (pull-movements), and legs.
Body Weight: Body weight exercises are great because you don’t need a gym to do them! You can work upper body, lower, body and core…and ALL without equipment. Examples of these exercises include lunges, squats, push-ups, and planks. Each exercise can be modified to your fitness level, too. A push-up and plank can be done from the knees until you are strong enough to perform the exercise with good form on your toes. The range of motion and depth of the exercise can modify squats and lunges.
Cardio Equipment: Bellin Fitness offers a great variety of cardiovascular equipment. Each piece you can increase the intensity and speed on your own, so you can start slower pace on the treadmill or less resistance on the elliptical.
Bellin Health Fitness has a great group of personal trainers available at all three of their fitness facilities. They are a great resource to help you begin your fitness journey!
References: https://www.healthstatus.com/health_blog/wellness/cardio-exercise-definition-and-benefits/ and http://acsm.org/