Starting a gym routine is a fantastic way to improve your health, fitness, and overall well-being. It can be an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself physically, increase your strength, and build your confidence. However, it’s important to remember that starting a gym routine can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to exercising or haven’t been physically active in a while. There are several dos and don’ts to keep in mind to ensure that you have a safe and effective workout experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gym-goer, these tips will help you get the most out of your workouts and achieve your fitness goals.
(Also read: Top gym mistakes you must avoid to achieve your fitness goals )
Rihana Qureshi, Certified Nutritionist and Strength Training Coach, shared with HT Lifestyle, some important dos and don’ts you should keep in mind when starting your gym routine.
1. Start with cardio
Start with a light cardio workout, such as walking on the treadmill for 15-20 minutes, if you have never worked out before. Once you are comfortable with that, increase your pace. This way, keep increasing the time and intensity till you can run and walk for a total of 30-35 mins without feeling drained.
2. Move on to weight training
Next, gradually add some bodyweight exercises like knee push-ups, squats, and assisted pull-ups. When you can do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps of these, then start with weight training. It is very important to start light and gradually increase the intensity to avoid injury.
3. Prioritize warm-up exercises
Also, it’s very important to do a warm-up before every workout session and stretch after your workout. This will not only prevent injuries but also muscle cramps, pulls, and spasms which can be quite common for beginners.
In addition, diet is an important element of your workout plan, especially pre and post-workout meals. What you eat is what your body will reflect. What you eat will be reflected in your body. You don’t have to make extreme changes or exclude certain foods from your normal diet. A simple home-cooked meal, along with limiting your junk food intake, is the most sustainable diet plan, but the before and after workout meals are important. So, here are a few quick pointers on that as well.
4. Pre-workout meal
Keep pre-workout meals light and at least one hour before the workout to avoid indigestion. Fruits, dry fruits and nuts are good options for pre-workout.
5. Post-workout meal
Post-workout meal is also very important to replenish your body after a tiring workout. Whey protein shakes are one of the most popular post-workout meals due to the notion that it’s going to immediately contribute to muscle building. But honestly, that’s not how our body works. Our body repairs itself over the next few hours. So it’s not necessary to have a protein shake if you eat enough protein in your other meals. Try to have a wholesome meal with ample protein and good fats after your workout.
6. Keep yourself hydrated
When we talk about diet, hydration plays a huge role. You will lose water through sweat when you work out. So make sure to drink at least 1 litre of water but sip by sip before, during, and after your workout.
“A few other small but significant things to remember are simple gym etiquette like keeping the weight back on the rack after use, carrying a napkin, and wiping the seat/bench if needed after your turn. These are small things but go a long way in setting good social habits at the gym. Finally remember, consistency is way more important. Going to the gym regularly and doing a moderate-intensity workout will give you far better results than a super-intense workout done only once in a while,” concludes Rihana.
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