4 Tips to Start Exercising on the Right Foot
If you have made the decision to exercise more, then you are already on the road to a healthier you. This, you might say, is the first step toward a leaner, more toned body.
But like most trips in life, the key to getting where you are headed depends not just on knowing your destination. There is a lot of other stuff that has to happen before you even step outside your house.
The same is true with exercise. If you want to succeed in making positive changes to your body, then you need more than just a gym membership. You need a solid plan.
Here are some tips that will help you stay on track throughout your workout program.
1. Clarify your goals. Sure, you want to exercise, but what do you want to get out of it? Fat loss, increased muscles, athletic ability? Figure this out before you start working out.
2. Choose a program that fits your goals. Every exercise program is created differently. Not every one is ideal for people looking to burn fat or to bulk up. Make sure what you choose fits your goals.
3. Do the research up front. Before lifting your first weight, know what’s expected of you. How many months is the workout program? How many times a week? How many hours? What equipment do you need to buy? If you don’t have the time or equipment, you may need a different program.
4. Commit to the program. Not just part-way, but full-tilt. Success will only come if you commit to the entire program. Block off time in your calendar to work out. Set up your exercise space if you are working out at home. Line up friends or family to keep you motivated.
If you want to get a sense of what a workout schedule looks like, check out the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Schedule. This three-month fat-burning program is well planned to keep you on track and help you reach your goal.
The schedule is designed in detail, telling you exactly what workout (on the DVDs) you will do each day, and what equipment is needed.
For more information about the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, Click Here.
How to Dive Into Exercise … Gradually
Everyone wants exercise results quickly. But sometimes going too fast leads to injury and can derail you from your exercise program.
This is especially true in the beginning. If you haven’t been working out regularly, then your body is probably not ready for super-intense workouts. So skipping over the early workouts in an exercise program won’t get you there any faster.
In the exercise world, you often hear about building the foundation for exercise. This is exactly what it sounds like. If you put up a building without laying down a solid foundation first, then the building will crumble, maybe even before it has finished.
The same is true with your body. You need that solid foundation to not only prevent injury, but also to help you succeed at the more intense levels.
Foundation in exercise can mean many things…
One is developing muscle tone. This is important, because trying to lift heavy weights without any prior experience will only lead to injury.
Next is cardio. Try running a marathon with only one month of running experience. You will be lucky if you finish (and can walk the next day).
Finally, there are things like balance and coordination. By starting out slowly, you can work on specific movements of your body in exercises like yoga and plyometrics. Then, as your body adapts, you can add speed and resistance.
A good workout program, especially one that’s designed to transform your body, will bring you slowly up to speed.
This is true with the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution program that I mentioned before. If you look at the schedule, you see that it’s broken down into three phases.
The first month is designed to get your body ready for future work, using low-impact cardio and light-resistance workouts. After you lay the solid foundation, you can increase the resistance and speed over the course of the three months.
Why Cardio Isn’t Everything … but is Important
Many people will tell you that if you want to burn fat, then you need to do more cardio.
Sure, you can head to the gym and run on the treadmill or step on the stair master. Both of those will burn fat, but they might take more hours than you can spare for exercise.
Is there a faster way?
Of course. Building muscle can burn fat just as effectively as cardio workouts … sometimes even faster.
Muscle uses energy to function, so when you add muscle, you will also start to burn more calories.
So should you ditch cardio altogether? Not at all. You still need to get your heart racing in order to improve your health.
That doesn’t mean, though, that you now need to do cardio on top of your weight-lifting routines. You can actually combine the two in interval training, or similar workouts.
These types of workouts use a combination of resistance exercises—using resistance bands or weights—and cardio-like moves to keep your heart pumping, but also to build muscle that will eat away at your fat.
Best of all … these workouts take less time than running a marathon (or a stair-master-athon).
So how little time do you need to burn fat? With the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, the workouts are only 25 to 35 minutes long … yes, that’s each day. Plus, you get one day off a week (don’t skimp on rest).
This program, though, doesn’t skip cardio altogether. You get two days a week of straight cardio. This burns fat and strengthens your heart, but also gives your muscles a rest from the intense resistance workouts.