5 Important Things Every New Exerciser Should Know

5 important things

1. Posture:
Understanding was perfect posture should look like will help to ensure you are doing a any new exercise or machine correctly and safely. It will also hopefully remind you too keep good form when you are not working out! 

  • Feet should be shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward
  • Knees every so slightly bent
  • Take a nice, deep breath in and as you exhale, pull your belly button in and tuck your pelvis in a neutral position
  • Make sure your arms are relaxed and rotate your shoulder back and relax them as well
  • Push your chin in with your index finger so your head is aligned with your shoulders

It might feel kind of funny and unnatural at first, but this is perfect posture.

2. Start Slow:
As the running experts from Runner’s World say about starting a running program: “Start SLOW. Slow with your pace, slow with your training, and slow with your expectations!” The same goes for any exercise program. You (hopefully) committed to be healthy fo rthe rest of your life, you have plenty of time to work your way up. Doing too much too soon often ends in disappointment, burn out, and/or injury.

3. Change Up Your Routine Every Week:
Going into the gym and doing the exact same thing every week (same pace on the treadmill, same weights and reps on the machines) will be sure to do two things: bore you and not give you the results you are looking for. Our bodies get adapt to exercise and we need to constantly change our routine and challenge ourselves in order to fully reap the benefits of an improved cardiovascular system, stronger muscles and bones, and weight loss.

4. Know That Every BODY Is Different:
This is so important for a few reasons.

One, we are all made different. Some people will develop larger leg muscles more quickly, while others will have an easier time getting abs. Some people will be able to easily increase their mileage each week, while others will make advances faster in the weight room. This doesn’t mean that just because your body naturally may be better at one thing, that you cannot work hard to see the results in another area, it may just take a little more time and effort.

Secondly, while the person next to you on the treadmill with the long legs is running like the wind and hardly breaking a sweat, it is OK if you are moving those little legs as fast as you can and pouring buckets! Or maybe the girl in your kickboxing class can kick her foot overhead, it is OK if you’re not that flexible (or coordinated)!

And thirdly, comparing ourselves to others usually results in feeling defeated or not good enough. Instead of comparing yourself to that crazy runner next to you, compare yourself to the old you who was on the couch last week!

5. You Can Still Workout If You Are Sore:
You are going to be sore. If you are not sore, you should probably be working harder (providing you have no major medical issues). Your instructor is sore some days, some days he or she might be really sore, but they are still up there leading class. While rest days are important, and definitely recommended, do not let being sore keep you away for longer than 2 days. It is harder to start back up when you stop!

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Also, if you are looking to join a new gym in the near future, I wrote a post last year about How To Buy a Gym Membership, tips from the inside!

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21 thoughts on “5 Important Things Every New Exerciser Should Know

  1. Great post – form is incredibly important in all areas working out, from running to spinning to swimming and lifting weights. I remember friends in high school getting hurt trying to lift too much and never learning form.

    This is especially important right now with so many people just hitting the gyms as part of a resolution.

    • Yes! It is interesting how many people really just don’t know what good form entails either. I actually stopped my class in the middle a couple weeks ago to go over proper form b/c people were just all over the place. And most were very interested, it just was not something they thought about much!

  2. Great Post! Posture I have found is key due to be aware of your body and its motions and it movements and just learning how to breathe while working out too. Thanks so much for sharing – Happy Thursday:)

  3. These are fantastic tips! Very helpful. I’m just starting to workout after over a month of nothing so I know I need to start slow.. and consistent. I seem to have had a problem with consistency in the last year so this year I’m hoping to break through that and I’m sure keeping it slow and steady will be the key. Also the soreness tip helps!

    • Thats great Kammie! Yea just keep at it, even if you only do a few sets of push ups or planks in your living room some days, just try not to go too many days without doing ANYTHING – you will get in the groove before you know it! :)

  4. Great tips! I’m new to spin right now and I hate being the sweaty hot mess girl in the back row who can’t do the standing part of the class without sitting back down after 3 seconds. It made me want to give up until I remembered that everyone is kind of bad at first! I’m now committing to taking classes twice a week as cross training to see if I get any better after a month! And yeah, proper form is key!

    • Omygosh, I just recently started spinning a bit more – it is HARD! Seriously, I am cursing people who cheer when the instructor says to turn up the resistance! But our bodies will get used to it, I am sure you are a better spinner today than you were in your very first class!!

  5. I love all these tips! I totally consider myself a new exerciser. I, luckily, have always had pretty good posture and flexibility, which I thinks helps a ton. So, with those two things coming naturally to me, I just really need to focus on pushing harder each time and mixing things up. I workout at home, and I don’t know enough to create my own plans, so finding things to do and switching so I don’t get into a rut is a big one! Helpful stuff as always, Sarah!

    • Girl, you seem like you are doing just fiiiiiiiiinnnnnneeee! :) Do you follow a particular workout schedule/plan at home? (Cant remember if I read this on your blog or not?)

  6. Great tips! I especially love the one about working out if your sore! Not an excuse and in fact in my experience training clients and personally I feel BETTER after working out when I’m sore then skipping the workout all together!

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