Starting an exercise program can be one of the best things you can do for your health but many people have trouble getting started. One of the biggest reasons people have trouble getting started is a lack of knowledge on the subject. Knowing how to start an exercise program the right way is key to sticking with it.
Here’s our tips on how to start an exercise program.
Hire a coach
Whether it’s a group class or personal trainer hiring a coach is a good idea if you’ve never worked out before. A coach will help you plan where you should start based on your fitness level and interests. Finding a program that you enjoy is key to sticking with it. Hiring an instructor will also make sure that you’re doing the exercises correctly which will keep you from being injured. When picking, a coach make sure to check that they’re certified and have some experience. Look for the NCCA accreditation seal with the coach’s certification.
If you’re starting a running program or a weight training program it’s always important to start slow. A lot misguided fitness professionals try to tell us that being sore is a good thing but being too sore is a bad thing. Soreness is inflammation and having too much of it can slow progress and scare you from moving forward in your program. Having a little soreness is normal but paying attention to your objective results is more important than soreness. If your lifting more weight and your runs are getting faster, then you’re on the right track.
Focus on form not weight
As a personal trainer, I’ve seen many people in the gym doing things all wrong just so they can lift a little more weight. Lifting weights with proper form is key to long term success. I highly recommend hiring a coach, watching YouTube videos or picking up a book about strength training if your new to exercise. It will pay off in the long run.
Don’t go into the weight room and start doing heavy barbell if you’re new to the gym. Barbell training is hard to do and should be done with a friend or coach that knows how to do it. Barbell training is one of the safest forms of exercise if done properly but many people are doing the movements wrong.
Make sure that you’re setting goals for your program but try not to get greedy with your goals. Setting a date for something like a 5k or a weight loss goal can be helpful when you’re starting a program because it will help you stick to your goal. When setting a goal, it’s important to be realistic because if you aim to lose 2 pounds a week and you weigh 150 pounds that might be hard because you’re already close to your goal weight. If your 400 pounds that goal might be better.