There’s no better feeling than getting the ‘training buzz’. In other words, you’ve taken the plunge and decided that exercise should become a core part of your life – and now you can’t get enough of it.
Of course, you don’t have to start your training so enthusiastically; you may have instead decided that three short weekly sessions at the gym are enough for now.
Regardless of your approach, beginners can get a little over-excited. It’s far too easy to bite off more than you can chew, incur an injury, and be out of action for the foreseeable future.
To ensure that you don’t fall into said category, let’s look at several hard and fast tips that can keep you in shape safely.
Don’t try to do too much too soon
This is easily the most important rule when it comes to avoiding injuries. Too often we see people in the gym going all out on their first day and then finding themselves side-lined for weeks afterwards. When you’re starting out, it’s best to take things slowly. As your body gets used to the new routine, you can then increase the intensity.
So, what is the definition of ‘too much’? Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer. For some people, it’s all about listening to their body and seeing how impacted it is during the following days. Yes, soreness will occur, but if it feels excessive, you’ve probably pushed yourself a bit too much and need a rethink.
Another method is to ask the help of personal trainers, who will better understand setting the appropriate limits for beginners. Some private health insurers are even starting to offer advice and educational content around exercise due to the issues this can prevent later.
Warm up and cool down
This is another golden rule that is often ignored. When you’re cold and start to exert yourself, the chances of you incurring an injury increase exponentially. That’s why it’s so important to warm up properly before starting any strenuous activity.
A good warm-up should last for around 10 minutes. It should consist of light aerobic activity, such as cycling or jogging, followed by a few gentle stretches. This will help increase your heart rate, loosen up your muscles and prepare them for the work ahead.
The same principle applies to cooling down. After your workout, take a few minutes to stretch out your muscles once again. This will help them to relax and minimise the risk of injury.
Use the correct equipment
This is particularly important when it comes to weightlifting. If you’re not using the correct equipment or too much weight, you’re putting yourself at risk of injury. When you’re starting out, it’s best to use lighter weights and perfect your form. Only then should you start to increase the amount of weight you’re using.
Take regular breaks
This is another golden rule that is often ignored. When you’re working out, it’s important to take regular breaks. This will allow your body to recuperate and will help to prevent injuries.
The thought of working out every day might sound tempting as you bid to carve the ultimate beach body. In reality, it’s too much and won’t be effective – rest days are crucial in your journey.