We know how daunting it can be for newbies to start their personal fitness journey. It’s especially discouraging when you jump into it before quickly realizing you know nothing about exercise, so why bother? With so much to learn and so little time, all the top techniques and equipment can be a blur to anyone less than familiar.
But we’ll let you in on a secret: no one’s born a pro. Even the biggest and brightest fitness enthusiasts we know (hello, Madi Ross!) started from zero. So if you’re worried about not knowing much, don’t fuss! Just get your feet on the ground and start rolling. We’re here to help you out.
Ready to get fit and be fab? Below, we start you off with 5 things every beginner has to know before they work out. Hope this guides you well!
LESSON #1: PREP WORK
First things first—you gotta warm up.
Whether you’re inside the gym for cardio or just at home doing morning yoga, prep work is one step you can’t miss. As eager and excited as you may be to make a beeline for your workout proper, don’t be tempted to skip warmups. You might be thinking: the more time you spend with your equipment, the more progress it’ll yield. It’s true! However, take note that without the right prep, you’ll more or less end up with a sore abdomen, painful legs, and a terrible stiff neck. Ouch!
To make sure your muscles are conditioned for a workout, spend at least five minutes doing a mix of dynamic exercises like jumping jacks, hops, rotations, and swings.
LESSON #2: TYPES OF EXERCISES
For a fitness newbie, you might be wondering what the difference is between running laps on the treadmill and, say, taking a Zumba class. Well, there are different types of exercises that serve different purposes. Do you want to strengthen your muscles or increase your stamina? Maybe both? For every goal, there is a specific exercise that corresponds to it.
Here are the basics:
WHY: Increases blood flow to heart and lungs; speeds up breathing and heart rate; prevents hypertension, diabetes, and depression
EXAMPLES: Brisk walking, swimming, running, jumping rope, dancing
USE: Harbinger Pro Speed Rope, P1,499, Fitlab Bath Towel, P499
WHY: Builds muscle mass; stimulates bone growth; aids in weight loss
EXAMPLES: Squats, deadlifts, push-ups, crunches
USE: Harbinger Women’s Padded Cotton Lifting Straps, P549
WHY: Prevents falls and loss of coordination; strengthens muscles; reduces risk of injury
EXAMPLES: Tai chi, yoga, leg swings
USE: Towelite Yoga Towel, P1,050, Feet And Right Yoga Gloves, P399
WHY: Increases blood flow throughout the body; relaxes the muscles before heavy workouts; increases motion range for complex exercises
EXAMPLES: Arm swings, leg stretches, knee rotations
USE: Active Resistance Loop Band Set, P700
LESSON #3: HYDRATION
When we work out, our body loses water, sodium, and chloride. In fact, working out for 60 minutes is equivalent to losing almost a liter of water. Replacing whatever your body loses is important, especially during long periods of exercise. This is to keep you becoming dehydrated, which may result in muscle fatigue, heat exhaustion and lethargy.
To prevent this, you should be drinking 8 oz. of water at least 20-30 minutes before your routine, and 7-10 oz. every 10-20 minutes while exercising.
USE: SKLZ Hydro-Roller Foam Roller + Water Bottle, P1,999, BKR Little Water Bottle (500ml), P1,950
LESSON #4: EATING RIGHT
Just like any mechanism, your body requires energy to function. By fueling it with the right food, you’re more likely get the most out of your workouts. A well-balanced plate must always contain fruits, leafy greens, high-fiber foods, clean carbs, healthy fats, and, of course, protein.
For those who want to go the extra mile, eating right may not be enough. To maintain an exercise-ready physique, consider incorporating fitness supplements like various proteins into your diet.
A popular example is whey protein. Derived from whey (AKA the liquid byproduct of milk used for cheese production), this option is an all too familiar sight at the gym. No surprises there! After all, whey protein does contain* tons of essential amino acids that aid in the body’s protein production. In other words: it’s great for building muscle!
USE: Wheyl Nutrition Co. Just Naked White, P550, Fitique Nutrition Skinny Whey Isolate With Collagen, P1,800
LESSON #5: RECOVERY TIME
If you think you’re bringing your body ten steps closer to your dream abs by throwing it into prolonged workouts, think again. If anything, people who strain themselves with too much exercise are more prone to injury risk, fatigue, and inflammation in various parts of the body.
You wouldn’t want it to get that bad, so take the time to cool down and rest. Consider it the sabbath of exercise. If you’re doing multiple sets in one workout session, allot 60-90 seconds of short intervals between each set to normalize blood pressure and breathing patterns.
Another way to rest your body after an intense workout is to relax your muscles using foam rollers. Self-myofascial release, self-massage, or foam rolling is the practice of applying pressure to certain muscles to loosen tightness and prevent further tension. To reduce muscle wear and tear, simply massage your target areas with your chosen equipment.
USE: Active Myofascial Release Ball, P600, A-Game Pain Relief Spray (100ml), P239
See you at the gym, newbie!
To discover more about healthy living, visit our Wellness Tab.
For more cool stories and members-only perks, sign up for BeautyMNL!