Exercising can seem daunting and terrifying to people who are new to it. It can leave you feeling unsure, flustered and confused as to where to even start, and how to even exercise in a safe and effective manner.
By following this step-by-step guide of how to exercise properly, you will feel reassured and confident; you’ll also be ready to get the best and most optimal results in a safe manner.
Active wear and shoes
This is the very first step to exercising properly. As minimal as this may seem, wearing workout clothes is actually very important as the wrong cut or material can restrict your movement.
Most workout clothes are made from materials that allow you to sweat comfortably, for the fabric to breath and not to restrict your movement; instead they encourage more movement and sweat.
An essential part of workout gear is a sports bra. A regular bra doesn’t have the support and coverage that is needed when exercising, meaning that it will result in pain and possibly even ruin your bra.
Also important are your shoes. Converse, vans, sandals, flip flops, heels, boat shoes—anything other than running shoes are a no-go for exercise.
If you’re playing a sport, then you may require specific such as basketball shoes and cleats. However, for exercise, running shoes that have a good tread for grip and great support are vital.
This way, you have the support you need and will exercise while protecting your feet and body. If you have bad running shoes that have no shock resistance, support or tread, then chances are, you will hurt yourself.
Stretching is actually very important to do in order to loosen up your muscles; this also reduces the chance of getting an injury. I’m not saying to do a full yoga session (you can if you want), but doing some dynamic (stretches with movement) and static stretches (stretches with no movement) are vital to having a safe workout.
Some good dynamic stretches would be the open and close the gate stretch, bowlers, karaoke, high knees, butt kicks, high kicks and many more. As for static stretches, the triceps, hamstring, adductor and trapezius stretches are all beneficial.
Form and knowledge
Knowing what the exercise does for you and how to do it are two very important things when it comes to exercise. Before you even start your workout, you should work on your form and be aware of how to do the exercises you plan on doing properly.
This is also very important to ensure that you do each exercise effectively for the best results and also in a safe manner where injuries will have less of a chance of occurring.
It is also very important to know what each exercise actually does for you, so research is a key part to exercise as this allows you to build a routine that will suit your needs.
This is crucial: if you do a mix of full body exercises every day, you will be fine. However, it is risky to do a lot of exercises for one area of your body day after day as you will do no good for that muscle; you will actually start to tear and strain it.
That is why making a schedule for which parts of your body you workout is important as it guarantees better results and is much safer. For example, you can do leg day, chest day, and arms.
Having a routine is crucial as it will allow you to continue your workout without having to stop and think about what to do next. When making a routine, it is important to start off at a level where you will sweat, but not at a level that is too advanced for you; this is where you make sure that your sets and reps are suited for you.
When planning, make sure that the number of reps (number of times you do a certain exercise) you have per exercise can be done for the number of sets you have (the amount of times you do your routine).
It is important to follow the routine you make, and also to track your progress so that when your routine gets too easy, you’ll be able to figure out what to do when you increase your sets and reps and possibly add some more exercises in.
Sweat is good: you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone in order to get a great beneficial exercise—the sweatier, the better.
However, do not push yourself too far to the point where it becomes dangerous, but make sure to strike a balance. It isn’t a workout if you aren’t a little uncomfortable and sweating, but don't push yourself too far.
As Mohammed Ali says, “I don't count my sit ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count.” Keep in mind: this might be extreme for some people, but pushing yourself is key.
Exercise is simple and amazing. It is most certainly nothing to be afraid of—just follow these steps and you’ll be a master at the art of exercising in no time!
A good thing to keep in mind is when exercising is to stay hydrated, and also try to eat and drink more healthily. If you have any more tips on how to start exercising safely while reaping all the benefits, feel free to share them with us!