Nine workout tips for beginners that will improve your health and fitness

Exercising is one of the best things you can do for your health – physically and mentally.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 6:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 6:00 pm
Nine workout tips that not only will improve your health and physical fitness, they can also be beneficial in a mental health capacity.
Nine workout tips that not only will improve your health and physical fitness, they can also be beneficial in a mental health capacity.

However, making exercise part of your routine takes a lot of determination, and sticking to it in the long term requires discipline.If you've set yourself some fitness targets for the New Year but you’ve been inactive for a while here's some tips to help you get into a routine.

CHECK YOUR HEALTH

If you’re over 45 or not used to strenuous exercise, it’s advisable to see a doctor and get a physical medical examination before starting an exercise routine. This will help detect and health problems that could put you at risk of injury during exercise. It will also help you or your trainer to understand your limitations and create an exercise plan tailored to your particular needs.

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MAKE A PLAN AND SET REALISTIC GOALSIt’s really important to create a plan that includes attainable steps and goals. One way to do this is to start with a plan of easy steps to follow. Then you can continue building on it as your fitness level improves.

For example, it’s unrealistic to set your sights on running a marathon if you’re a beginner. Start with a smaller target of running 1km first. Then increase it to 2km, then 5km, and so on. Starting with small goals will not only increase your chances of success, it will also keep you motivated along the way.

MAKE IT A HABITMaintaining an exercise routine in the long term and making it a habit is the key to success. If possible, try to exercise at the same time every day so you make your workouts a part of your routine. It usually takes between 4-6 weeks to form a habit.

STAY HYDRATEDHydration is one of the most important things when you start exercising. It helps you stay focused and energised when you’re working out, and it can also help you recover and get you ready for your next training session.

My advice is to drink at least two litres of water and two to three cups of green tea a day.

OPTIMISE YOUR NUTRITIONBe sure to consume a balanced diet to support your fitness program. Eating the right foods will fuel your body for workouts, keep you energised, curb cravings and help your body recover after workouts. Make sure you get a good balance of proteins, good fats and healthy carbs. Avoid refined sugars and bad fats found in takeaways etc.

If you’re just starting out and you have some weight to lose, it may be tempting to go on a low-calorie diet to lose weight quickly. But, in the long run you won’t be able to maintain it.

WARM UPIt's important to warm up before your workout to help prevent injuries. It can also help improve your flexibility and reduce soreness after your workout. Simply start your workout with some aerobic exercises like arm swings, leg kicks and squats.

Alternatively, you can warm up by doing easy movements of the exercise you are planning to do. For example, walk before you run, or perform body weight squats before weighted squats.

COOL DOWNCooling down is also important because it helps your body return to its normal state. Taking a couple of minutes to cool down can help restore normal blood circulation and breathing patterns and even reduce the chance of muscle soreness.

A light walk and some stretching a good way to cool down.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODYIf you're not used to working out every day, be mindful of your limits. If you feel injury pain or discomfort while exercising, stop and rest before continuing.

A little bit of muscle burn is great, but pushing through injury pain is not a good idea, as it can cause further injuries.

STAY MOTIVATEDThe key to staying motivated is to have fun while doing it. Joining a fitness class like boot camp, hiring a personal trainer or taking part in team sports are also good ideas to increase motivation and enjoyment.

We have some Beginners Boot Camp sessions at East Coast Fitness. The sessions are designed so that you can take everything at your own pace. The workouts raise your heart rate a challenge your muscles to help burn lots of calories, but there’s very little impact on your joints to help avoid injuries.

Working out with a group can also really help with accountability and motivation because you’re all there to support each other, and it’s fun!

If you’d like more info about our Beginners Boot Camp sessions go to www.eastcoast-fitness.com

SIX SQUAT VARIATIONS TO BUILD STRENGTH IN YOUR LEGS

Try these 6 Squat variations to build your overall leg strength. You’ll target all muscles in your lower body within these six exercises.

Try doing 40 seconds of each exercise with 20 seconds rest between. Complete 2 rounds in total…

40 seconds SQUAT JUMPS20 seconds rest40 seconds CALF RAISE SQUATS20 seconds rest40 seconds WIDE SQUATS20 seconds rest40 seconds SQUAT LEAPS20 seconds rest40 seconds PULSE SQUATS20 seconds rest40 seconds SPLIT SQUATS20 seconds rest40 seconds SQUAT JUMPS20 seconds rest40 seconds CALF RAISE SQUATS20 seconds rest40 seconds WIDE SQUATS20 seconds rest40 seconds SQUAT LEAPS20 seconds rest40 seconds PULSE SQUATS20 seconds rest40 seconds SPLIT SQUATSGREEK STYLE TURKEY BURGERSINGREDIENTS

BURGERS:

450 grams turkey mince

50 grams feta cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon semi-skimmed milk

A handful fresh parsley, chopped

A handful fresh mint, chopped

A pinch salt and black pepper

SAUCE:

150 grams natural low-fat yoghurt

1⁄2 lemon, juiced

1⁄2 garlic clove, crushed

A handful fresh parsley, chopped

A handful fresh mint, chopped

A pinch salt and black pepper

SERVES: 4

TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes

INSTRUCTIONS

Begin making the burger patties by combining the turkey, feta, mint, parsley, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Once well mixed, divide the burger mixture into four patties using your hands to shape them into the classic shape.

Arrange the burgers on a baking tray before placing under a high grill. Cook the burgers for 5 minutes until the top side is slightly charred before flipping and continuing to cook for a further 5 minutes.

While the burgers are grilling, make the yoghurt sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl before seasoning the sauce to perfection.

Serve the burgers with a dollop of yoghurt sauce on top for some added freshness.