It takes dedication and determination to stay in shape but with a few practical tips, you can get into the flow and reach your fitness goals. 30 mins of activity 5 times a week, and 2 strength workouts a week are recommended for adults aged 19-64 yrs. So you should aim for 3 1/2 hours of exercise weekly. This is the ideal for the average person, but don’t worry, you won’t be expected to do 5 days in a row straight away! Ease yourself into it and get used to a few days a week. As your energy increases you’ll have the get up and go to do more.
Tips to get you started
- Always warm up before and cool down after exercise to prevent injury.
- If you are a member of a gym, always speak to a fitness professional before trying a new exercise to limit any chance of injury – they will show you the correct technique.
- Warm up with cardiovascular activity, such as jogging, and movements that will warm up the joints (arm swings, squats, lunges, marching on the spot). This is called dynamic stretching. Cool down with cardio and static stretching. (Static stretching is when you hold a stretch for 10-12 seconds).
- Keeping hydrated throughout the day is important for your body to function well. When exercising, keep some water with you at all times.
- Add variety to your workout to keep it fresh and interesting. You can take a different class at your local gym, swim instead of running for a week, take to your bike or watch a yoga dvd instead of your regular Zumba one.
- Speak to a fitness professional every 4-6 weeks to ensure you keep making progress and your technique is correct. If you aren’t in a gym then try to vary the activity you do. Remember, your body will adapt to the exercise, so its important to change it to keep a good level of fitness.
- If you do weight training and cardio, always do your resistance training (weights) before your cardio. That way you won’t be too tired to carry out the exercises correctly.
- When starting a training programme, aim for whole body workouts so you build up overall fitness and plan in some rest days. Our starter plans encourage you to do exercises that will help build strength into the major muscle groups in your body and cardio to increase aerobic (heart and lungs) fitness.
- Try not to rely on supplements unless you have a specific dietary requirement. Try to get all the nutrition you need from your diet by eating the right food at the right times.
- Warm up before you go for a walk, run or bike ride – start slowly and increase your speed gradually over 5 mins then do some dynamic stretching to loosen and warm your joints.
- Whenever you can, use the stairs, not the lift. Remember to sit upright at your desk to improve your posture and do some stretches during the day to keep limber and loose – don’t think about who might be watching!
Now you have the tips, here is your 4 week exercise plan:
Note: You can exercise at home, outside, in the gym or classes in halls around the country. Make sure you have water on hand to stay hydrated throughout and a towel to stay dry. Put 45 mins aside to complete each workout until you get used to the exercises. Once you get into the habit you will get through your workouts quicker.
Stick with it…it will be worth it!
Exercises and post-workout stretches in your plan.
Familiarise yourself with these correct techniques:
- Supermans - strenghten back and core muscles
- Trunk rotations - for a toned waist
- Bent knee leg life
- Vertical scissors - tone legs and buttocks
- Quadriceps - Stretch and tone thigh muscles
- Hamstring stretch - improve flexibility
- Calf - Standing stretch
- Back - Torso stretch
**Before you start any new exercise programme you should talk to your GP to get the go-ahead to start.