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Exercise must never be taken for granted. And people mainly do this by either not exercising, moving minimally, or practicing without proper guidance. What we need to clearly understand is that the body is designed by nature to move to meet certain requirements to function healthily at every level, period.
A client came in for fitness consultation at the end of last year. She said, “I feel fat, ugly, stiff, stressed and lethargic”. She wanted to start exercise and change her lifestyle beginning 2017, but didn’t know how. She of course knew she could join a gym or yoga class or start morning walks at the very least, but she didn’t know how to organise herself or how to stay committed to exercise. Below I have put together some information which I shared with her which you may also find helpful if you are embarking on a fitness journey.
Let’s look at: Where, When, What, Who and How to get a clear picture towards your first step:
Where: You can either train from your home or go to a gym. Exercising at home allows you the convenience of personal space and time, while a gym offers you well equipped facility, various programs and trainers. But wherever you start, I strongly advise that you first consult a qualified trainer. There is also the option of training outdoors. I know a guy who feels stifled and restrained training indoors, but enjoys outdoor exercise where he feels free.
When: The only best time is when you can make it. Most people train either early mornings or evenings. The time you choose should depend on your biological tendency and schedule. While exercising you are exerting and expending energy. Some people are morning people and some become more energetic as the day passes. Choose a time that you feel your best, where you are not stressed for time or are forcing yourself, this will allow you to not just enjoy your workout but also stay committed to it.
What: The best form of exercise is the one which you can practice regularly. There are different forms of exercise to choose from. You must select an exercise form which meets your goal and keeps you interested and motivated. For example strength training if you want to build muscles, stretches to improve your pliability. I strongly suggest that you include movements that cater to your cardio, strength and flexibility requirements which are the base aspect of your fitness. Do not hesitate to try different classes or exercise types before you find what you really enjoy doing and works for you. I have had a client who attended the gym regularly but would watch with a lot of interest the kickboxing class. I one day invited her to join the class but she said she was too old for it. I encouraged her to just join and see what she could do, and today she has fast outpaced a number of regulars with her moves.
The encouraging part: she is over 50.
Who: You need proper guidance during the beginning phase of your exercise. You could consider takinga few private lessons to understand the movements in detail. Apart from teaching you the ins and outs of exercise, a qualified trainer will also help you correct your diet and guide you in other aspects of your lifestyle. Additionally, try finding a training buddy – your spouse, a colleague, your son or daughter. When training with a partner, exercise becomes more enjoyable, competitive and you can both motivate each other on low days.
How: Exercise is a science. It is organized movements repeated regularly to reach a specific outcome. There are several governing principalswhich need to be followed to make exercise efficient and effective. These include learning proper form and technique, selecting and sequencing exercise properly, applying required stress to the body, building intensity gradually, rest periods etc.How many times you exercise is mainly dependent on your ability to recover. Beginners can start with two to three days spread out through the week.
Sandesh Palungwa Limbu is a certified professional fitness instructor, founder of RAGE Fitness, and also specialises in mixed martial arts. For answers to your fitness queries, write to him at email@example.com