If Covid-19 taught us anything, it was to take care of our health. We always knew it was good to exercise but never quite took it up because we were busy, but now we have started to understand the benefits of regular physical activity that can make a world of difference in our lives. According to Mayo Clinic, regular physical activity can control your weight, combat health conditions and diseases ( Bye Covid!), and improve sleep.
Workouts can be broadly divided into aerobic exercise (cardiovascular exercise) and strength training, and it is vital to do both. Per Healthline, adding cardio like running and walking can boost your mood and regulate your blood sugar levels. And, we could all use those feel-good endorphins. Strength training with bodyweight, free weights, or machines can make you stronger and toner.
Certified personal trainer Kristie Alicea, the co-founder of ABC Fit Collective, told Verywell Fit, “Strength training can help our bodies maintain hormonal health. Our hormones affect every part of our body, especially our emotions and our mental state of being.”
The idea of going to the gym for the first time can be jarring, plus what if you don’t know how to use the machines? Don’t worry because many gyms offer free trials to potential members to check out the space and the vibe, and meet with fitness trainers to see if this will work for them (via True Fitness). Ready to look good and feel good?
Here is your beginner workout plan for the gym
Most gyms offer a free session with a certified fitness trainer, so it will be helpful to make use of it so you can discuss your existing health conditions and goals.
Now that you have made it to the gym, what’s the first thing to do? Fitness First recommends warming up before exercising so you can loosen your muscles and reduce the risk of injury. Here is a quick warmup that’s ideal for beginners. For a first-timer, start with a cardio machine such as a treadmill or elliptical and aim to use it for 20–25 minutes. You can slowly increase your resistance and duration with time (via Planet Fitness).
Next is strength training, Nuffield Health recommends working your lower body with exercises like bodyweight lunges, leg raises, and full/knee press-ups. Do 10 reps of 1 to 3 sets. Jeffrey Yellin, DPT, CSCS, told Self, “Balancing your routine with pushing and pulling ensures that you maintain good muscular balance and hit all the important muscle groups.” Try 6 to 12 reps of 1 to 3 sets of pushups and bent-over rows regarding your upper body. Last but not least, don’t forget to cool down with some stretches as it will lower your chance of injury, promote blood flow and reduce stress to your heart and muscles (via Healthline).
It is best to try to go to the gym a few times a week to get the hang of it. You got this!
Originally published at https://www.thelist.com on February 1, 2022.