New year, new fitness goals. This post goes over weight loss programs and beginner workout tips to consider when getting back into your fitness routine.
How to Choose the Right Weight Loss Program?
When it comes to weight loss programs, crushing fitness goals or venturing into the world of wellness, you’ll find yourself looking around at other physiques. What you won’t notice right away is that different body compositions point to the fact that not all cardio is created equal. As an example, excessive aerobic activity can decrease testosterone levels, increase cortisol production, weaken the immune system, and halt any hope of hypertrophy.
Guiding your way through the various fitness options needn't be daunting. If you’re just starting out you can choose a variety of strength training methods using free weights, exercise machines, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises.
Here are a few tips on choosing the right exercise style for you.
Strength training is a broad term referring to any exercise that uses some form of resistance to strengthen and build muscle. You create that resistance and put your muscles to work by using hand-held weights, weight machines, resistance bands, resistance balls, and even your own body. Grab your protein shake and your shaker bottle for a worthy post-workout snack!
What are the benefits of strength training?
- Makes you stronger and fitter.
- Protects bone health and muscle mass.
- Keeps the weight off for good.
- Helps you develop better body mechanics.
Examples of strength exercises include:
- Lifting weights.
- Using resistance bands.
- Bodyweight exercises for resistance training, by doing push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, leg squats or push-ups against a wall.
- Using weight machines at a gym.
Resistance training is a form of exercise that improves muscular strength and endurance. During a resistance training workout, you move your limbs against resistance provided by your body weight, gravity, bands, weighted bars or dumbbells. Some exercise machines can also be used for resistance training too.
If you find you need a little boost before your workout, try one of these pre-workout drinks for optimal energy.
High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training (usually referred to as HIIT) can be an incredibly effective way to work out and see the body composition and fitness results you want.
HIIT is a cardio session arranged as short bursts of very hard work, you’ll need to push yourself to the max during every set. Sound like a lot of work? That’s the idea: Working harder = higher oxygen intake = greater calorie burn. A great sports supplement will give you the energy you need for these short bursts of activity.
Important Tips When Doing HIIT
Rest. Rest periods between each set are an essential part of the workout—if you don’t take time to recover, you’re not doing it properly. A good place to start for beginners is with a 1:2 ratio of work to rest. So basically go all out on a chosen activity for, say, 30, 60, or 90 seconds, rest for twice as long, then start on the next set.
Train hard with this HIIT workout—no equipment needed. A Sweaty 24-Minute Cardio HIIT Workout You Can Do In Your Living Room
**Recovery is crucial post-workout, always try to have a sports recovery drink at hand to boost those electrolytes.
At-Home Beginner Bodyweight Workout
No time to hit the gym?
This simple beginner bodyweight workout can be done at home for a quick sweat session!
Complete one set of each exercise and then move directly onto the next exercise.
- 20 bodyweight squats.
- 10 push-ups.
- 20 walking lunges.
- 10 dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug)
- 15-second plank.
- 30 jumping Jacks.
- Repeat for 3 rounds.
Yoga and Stretching
If you’ve been hesitant to try yoga because you don’t think of yourself as a flexible person, I’ll let you in on a little secret: You don’t need to be all that flexible to be a yogi.
To start your path to yogi status, start with the basic yoga postures and progress from there. In this episode of Flow, yoga instructor Elise Joan shows the foundational yoga moves that are perfect for beginners.
These simple yoga poses are essential in almost all types of yoga and will slowly help you build up your strength for more challenging moves. Grab your mat and your yoga bands and get your namaste on!
- Hamstring Stretch
- Extended Side Angle
- Child's Pose
- Downward Facing Dog
- Forward Fold with Twist
- Upward Facing Dog
Side note: Kickstart your yoga journey with a great pair of yoga leggings, Manduka® uses fabrics made from recycled polyester, organic cotton and/or plant-based material because they’re kinder to the earth and comforting to your body.
The Importance of Building a Strong Core
Strong core muscles make it easier to do most physical activities. ... Strong core muscles are also important for athletes, such as runners, as weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance, and injuries. Weak core strength can also leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain, and muscle injuries. When trying a beginner core workout, try doing five rounds in total of these three exercises.
Core strength exercises for beginners:
The definitive core training exercise. The plank involves minimal movement but maximum effort, requiring you to support your body on your forearms and toes while holding your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. You can make it easier by resting on your knees, or harder by extending your arms so you’re supported by your hands.
Lie on your back with your arms extended straight up towards the ceiling, and your legs raised with your knees bent at 90°. Lower your right arm and left leg at the same time until they are hovering just above the floor, then return to the starting position. Then do the same with the opposite limbs.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight, and hold your arms out in front of you as you raise your feet off the ground with your legs together. If you can, extend your legs so they are straight and your body forms a V shape. You can also raise your arms and spread your legs to make the hold harder.
- Plank: Time 30-sec Rest 0 sec
- Dead bug: Reps 10 Rest 0 sec
- Boat: Time 30-sec Rest 1 min
Rest and recovery is an essential part of any workout routine. Your after-exercise recovery routine has a big impact on your fitness gains and sports performance and allows you to train much more effectively. We suggest a great soak in an aromatherapy bath or treat yourself to an aromatherapy massage.
Recovery after exercise is essential to muscle and tissue repair and strength building. This is even more critical after a heavy weight training session.
Top Recovery Tips
You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery.
Eat Healthy Recovery Foods
After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel. Ideally, you should try to eat within 60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrate.
Rest and Relax
Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Resting and waiting after a hard workout allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace.
After a tough workout, consider gentle stretching relaxation exercises. This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover. A daily stretching routine will improve flexibility and keep you conditioned to continue your fitness routine.
The foam roller is the reboot tool of choice for many physical therapists and gyms.
Foam-Roll Exercises can be just like a deep massage—but one you give to yourself. By rolling the hard foam over your thighs, calves, and back, you can loosen tough connective tissue. This will decrease the stiffness of your muscles.
Listen to Your Body
The most important thing you can do to recover quickly is to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore or notice decreased performance you may need more recovery time or a break from training altogether. As mentioned before, you should be drinking plenty of water and sometimes a sports recovery drink is also necessary for fluid replenishment.
With these weight loss programs and tips in mind, give yourself time to start your journey the right way.
Find a routine that you enjoy and always mix it up to avoid boredom.
If you pick something you enjoy, you’ll find it easier to stay committed and be on your way to optimal wellness.