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20 Essential Exercise Tips for Beginners

20 Essential Exercise Tips for Beginners

Exercise is so important to weight control, disease prevention, energy, mental focus, mood, restful sleep, longevity, and just plain old feeling good. But when you’re not in the habit—and when you’re not in such great shape—any kind of fitness routine can seem daunting, and sometimes it’s hard to work up the motivation. Once you’ve decided to do it, though, the following exercise tips for beginners help ensure you do it safely and effectively.

Just remember to consult your doctor before starting any workout regimen. You need personalized advice from a medical professional who knows about your general health, fitness, and risk factors. Starting out at an appropriate level and gradually building up is crucial. Otherwise, you may put yourself at risk of injury, aggravation of a condition, or even potentially dangerous heart stress.

Use your doctor’s guidance and these simple exercise tips for beginners to go about improving your health and fitness in a safe, productive way.

Exercise Tips for Beginners

  1. Make exercise part of your routine.
  1. Be physically active for at least 20 to 30 minutes every day.
  1. Get comfortable, appropriate shoes and clothes for exercising in.
  1. Get a workout partner to help keep you motivated and accountable.
  1. Vary the types of exercise you do each day to work out different areas of your body and to stave off boredom.
  1. Make sure you’re doing aerobic exercises and strength-training exercises.
  1. And don’t forget activities to improve your flexibility and balance; try yoga!
  1. Set tangible goals, write them down, and monitor your progress.
  1. Be mindful of inhaling deeply and exhaling smoothly during any fitness routine.
  1. Don’t forget about stretching before and after workouts, as well as warming up and cooling down.
  1. Focus on low-impact exercises if you’re a senior or have a health condition that affects your bones, joints, muscles, or ligaments.
  1. Learn how to calculate your target heart rate and why it matters.
  1. When doing cardio, interval training that mixes low-intensity with short bursts of high-intensity exercise is a great way to lose weight and improve fitness.
  1. Start strength training by using your own body weight with exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, and lots of others if you don’t have weights.
  1. Pay close attention to lifting weights by contracting muscles, not with momentum from swinging and swiveling.
  1. Also pay attention to maintaining straight posture while lifting, with your lower back slightly arched, chest out, and neck and head straight.
  1. Eat lots of healthy proteins and make sure you’re eating good carbs.
  1. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  1. Don’t reward yourself with snacks for exercising; it’s one of the common reasons people don’t lose weight.
  1. Never give up! Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes you don’t see the results you want or expect, but stay positive and remember that you’re doing great things for yourself!

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Jason Littleton, MD, also known as America's Energy Doctor, is a board-certified family physician offering concierge healthcare and the author of WellSpring: The Energy Secrets to Do the Good Life. The book's practical, insightful content and his resonant messages about nutrition, fitness, and balance have made Dr. Littleton a highly sought after, high-profile keynote speaker and national media commentator on TV and in print.