Start exercising for your daily routine. To be healthier, follow these steps on how you should exercise without feeling unwell.
Imagine you’ve just started your new fitness journey with a quick sprinting session. The next morning, you wake up with aches and pains radiating through your muscles, the discomfort lingering for days.
This is a common experience for those new to exercising or resuming after a long break, often caused by microscopic tears to muscle fibers. You might also encounter joint pain, fatigue, etc.
These discomforts can be demoralizing, potentially hindering your progress. This guide will help you with tips on how to start exercising without hurting yourself to ensure you succeed in your efforts to keep fit.
1. Start small.
If you’re new to exercise or returning after a break, start small to avoid injury, which can lead to discouragement. Add simple activities into your daily routine, like a 10–15-minute walk. Gradually increase the distance over time.
For strength training, use light weights like one or two-pound dumbbells. Focus on perfecting your form before increasing the weight. Keep your exercise sessions manageable, for example, a 15-minute workout.
Expect some soreness as your body adjusts. So, start exercising slowly and steady to ease the discomfort, making your fitness journey enjoyable and sustainable. Remember, any movement is a step forward.
2. Listen to your body.
The best gauge of your exercise intensity is your body. As you increase your workout duration and intensity, be mindful of discomfort or pain. Of course, mild breathlessness and muscle fatigue are normal signs of exertion.
However, severe or sharp pain, excessive fatigue, dizziness, or feeling unwell are warnings not to be ignored. These could signal overuse or potential injury. If you experience these symptoms, reduce your intensity, take a break, or stop exercising altogether.
While it’s good to push yourself, balancing exertion and recovery will ensure a safe and enjoyable fitness journey.
3. Understand the importance of hydration.
Staying well-hydrated is a crucial aspect of exercising safely. Water aids in cooling the body, preventing heat stress and heat stroke – two potentially dangerous conditions related to dehydration. Dehydration can also cause a decline in performance, fatigue, and dizziness.
Some easy rapid rehydration tips include drinking small, frequent sips of water during exercise, which can help maintain hydration levels, or sips of sports drinks, which is a good option, especially for longer workouts, as they replenish water and electrolytes lost through sweat.
Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages as they stimulate urine production and can lead to further dehydration. Also, do not take large amounts of water at a time, as it can lead to dilution of electrolytes, which is also dangerous.
4. Start with an activity you enjoy.
Transitioning into a regular exercise routine is a significant change that can take you out of your comfort zone. It’s important to expect some discomfort and mild pain as your body adjusts to the new level of physical exertion. Remember, “No pain, no gain.”
Start exercising with an activity you truly enjoy to make this phase more bearable. For example, try dance-based workouts like Zumba or hip-hop fitness if you love dancing. This way, you combine your passion for grooving with a robust workout for an enjoyable experience.
Also, you can add something fun to your exercise routine to make it more enjoyable. For example, if you’re a podcast enthusiast, listen to your favorite episodes while jogging or doing a home workout. This distracts your mind from the physical strain and gives you something to look forward to.
5. Fuel your body with the right food.
Diet plays a pivotal role in exercise, particularly in the healing and repairing of microscopic muscle tears that occur during workouts. Consuming a diet rich in nutrients that promote muscle repair speeds up recovery.
Lean proteins, such as chicken, turkey, fish, and tofu, are excellent sources of amino acids, the building blocks of muscle tissue. Complex carbohydrates found in brown rice, whole grain pasta, and sweet potatoes provide sustained energy, aiding in workout performance and recovery. Healthy fats from avocados, nuts, and seeds supply essential fatty acids that assist in reducing inflammation.
However, dietary needs can be individual-based and complex, so it can be beneficial to seek professional guidance if you are not sure if your body is getting what it needs. A registered dietitian can provide personalized advice and meal plans to meet your specific fitness goals and dietary requirements.
6. Start with warm-up exercises.
Before diving into an intense workout, it’s crucial to prime your body with warm-up exercises. A warm-up gently prepares the body for exercise stresses by gradually increasing heart rate and circulation.
For instance, if you’re about to embark on a rope-jumping session, some effective warm-up exercises could include simple knee lifts, jumping jacks, or a brisk walk. On the other hand, if you’re about to lift weights, you might find dynamic stretching exercises or lifting light weights to be beneficial warm-ups.
7. Include cool-down exercises.
You probably have seen people jogging lightly or walking around after an energy-intensive sport. They’re engaging in a cool-down. This process allows for a gradual decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. It helps to prevent blood from pooling in the large muscles and facilitates the removal of metabolic waste products from the muscles, facilitating faster muscle recovery.
Cooling-down exercises can also vary based on the preceding activity. For example, a slow jog or walk would be suitable after a sprint, while static stretching exercises are recommended after weight lifting. These practices contribute to a safer and more efficient workout routine.
Start exercising today and enjoy the process.
Embarking on a fitness journey requires commitment, patience, and the right approach. Remember to listen to your body, stay hydrated, choose activities you enjoy, fuel yourself with nutritious food, and never skip warming up and cooling down sessions.
These strategies and a positive mindset will make your fitness journey successful and enjoyable. It’s important to remember that fitness is not a destination but a lifelong journey. Embrace the process, enjoy the progress, and celebrate the small victories. Stay fit, stay happy!
If you need more guidance, don’t hesitate to contact a fitness professional.