Exercise Tips for Beginners

Taking that first step toward beginning an exercise regimen is an important one. Not only does exercise improve your fitness level and promote weight management, but it also helps ward off illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Exercise also can improve your mood and reduce symptoms of depression. Plus, a little goes a long way. You don't have to spend hours exercising to reap the benefits.

So, if you have made the decision to begin exercising, congratulations! Regardless of your age or fitness level, you can get started as early as today—it is never too late to start exercising. This guide to getting in shape for beginners explains what you need to know about cardio, flexibility, strength training, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does exercise lower blood pressure?

    According to the American Heart Association, exercise can help lower blood pressure. Plus, 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week can also strengthen your heart and reduce stress levels. Exercise offers a number of other heart-health benefits, too. For instance, those who exercise consistently also have a lower resting heart rate and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • What are the best ways to gain muscle?

    A combination of strength training and proper nutrition may help you build muscle. To achieve the best results, follow a strength training routine suited to your skill level and focus on a diet filled with lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and heart-healthy fats. Keep in mind, increased muscle mass has a number of health benefits while low levels of muscle can contribute to cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes in adults.

  • What are cardio exercises for beginners?

    If you are brand new to physical activity, dedicated walking is the best place to begin. You also may want to experiment with an elliptical, stationary bike, or rowing machine if you have access to a gym. Monitor your heart rate, stay hydrated, and beware of signs of fatigue. As with any physical activity, clearance from a healthcare provider is advised before starting something new.

  • What are good stretches for beginners?

    Flexibility and stretching will support proper recovery as you embark on your fitness journey. When starting a beginner's stretching program, it is important to listen to your body and know when to stop or ease into a stretch. Simple moves, such as quad and hamstring stretches, are good to promote flexibility and prevent injury.

  • How do you exercise without equipment for beginners?

    Many forms of exercise can be performed without equipment. Walking, for one, requires nothing more than a properly-fitted pair of shoes. Yoga, while best performed at first under the guidance of an instructor, can be performed at home on a non-slip surface. And, bodyweight exercises can serve as a gateway to more strenuous strength training.

  • How do you do a plank?

    The most important aspect of the plank pose for a beginner isn’t the frequency or duration but rather the form. For instance, as you get into the plank position, you want to ensure your elbows are directly under your shoulders and that your forearms are facing forward. Keep your head relaxed, look at the floor between your forearms, and engage your core.

    In the beginning, you will hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds and gradually work up to longer durations. Beginners may find it easier to start with their knees on the floor and work up to extended legs as their strength increases.

Key Terms

Page Sources
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