It’s never too late to take your first step into fitness. Along with nutrition, it’s the first step in leading a healthier, longer life. Beginner athletes stepping into the gym for the first time ever or after a hiatus have a lot to learn, which is why we’re making this guide. Although it’s a long journey for beginner athletes to learn the do’s and don’ts of fitness, it’s a journey worth taking.
This guide is by no means going to touch everything you need to know – no fitness expert knows everything, no matter how reluctant they are to admit it. But, this will give you a basic understanding of what to do on your first day at the gym.
Define your fitness goals
Before you even start scheduling rest, cardio, and strength days – define what you want to accomplish. Are you trying to lose weight? Build muscle? Gain endurance? Whatever it is, your workouts and nutrition plan will revolve around that big picture.
But that’s just the first step. Losing weight is a healthy goal worth pursuing, but it’s not a S.M.A.R.T. goal. That means it’s not specific enough. The key to being a successful as a beginner athlete to evolve into a seasoned one is – being purposeful in your actions. Doing random workouts at sporadic times might help you get in shape, but not reach your end goal.
Set mini-goals to help keep you on-track. Your mini-goals will dial you in on your end goal, and motivate you throughout your journey. See how these fitness goals are closer in reach than simply “losing weight”:
- Go to the gym four times a week
- Take the stairs
- Run three miles a week
- Use 10-pound weights with an exercise
- Walk 10,000 steps a day
Invest in a personal trainer
Now that you have a vision in mind with specific steps you want to take, it’s time to create a workout plan that reflects that. But beginner athletes may be unsure how to go about that. The good news: personal trainers are well educated to guide you expertly to reach your goals.
Even experienced athletes overestimate how much fitness advice can be found in a search engine. Personal trainers are well worth the investment when you’re just getting your bearings on fitness. They give beginner athletes a foundation to develop good fitness habits, like:
- Proper form
- Number of sets and reps
- Workout timing and schedule
- Specific exercises to tone muscles
- Efficient HIIT workouts
- Best stretching and warm-up techniques
- Nutrition and lifestyle advice to support your fitness program and keep you on track
People will debate on never-ending online threads about form and reps, but you don’t know the person on the other side of the computer. With personal trainers, you can trust their voices since they have the education and certification to back up their advice. They’ll explain what exercises to do, when to do them, how to do them and most importantly – why you’re doing them. When beginner athletes understand the why behind their workouts, they can develop their own plan later.
Explore different workout avenues
Even beginner athletes know that there’s an array of fitness niches out there. Oftentimes, these branches of fitness become “trendy,” but that doesn’t mean you have to go with the flow. Dip your feet in different areas of fitness, such as:
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- Functional fitness
- Strength training
- Yoga or pilates
- Group fitness
Try it all. Beginner athletes can sometimes fall into a routine they don’t genuinely enjoy, just because it was “cool.” Explore, find your niche, and roll with it. You won’t ever get bored working out when you’re having a great time doing it. If more than one type of fitness appeals to you, even better! That means you can mix up your workouts without feeling pressured to only lift weights or cardio.
Get the hang of it
Be patient and don’t try any complex, extravagant workouts. This can put beginner athletes at risk for injury, since their muscles haven’t accustomed to the stress they’re under during their first workouts.
If you’re pursuing yoga, perhaps start with slow-paced hatha yoga. That way, you can start nailing your fundamentals and save the complex poses for down the road. If you’re learning to pump iron, do high repetitions (number of movements) and low weight. That way, you can focus on developing proper form, which will potentially save you from injury. In this aspect, beginner athletes are actually at an advantage. Instead of having to shake old habits and replace them with healthy ones, they can build the right ones from the get-go with the help of personal trainers.
Grab other beginner athletes and partner up
Beginning your fitness journey becomes a lot easier with a friend. One study found that 95 percent of people that started a weight loss program with others finished it, while only 76 percent finished it alone. Some research even says that working out with a partner can increase performance, like running faster. This boost of motivation and confidence can propel you through intimidation and shyness around the gym. Workout partners can also:
- Keep you accountable and stay focused
- Ensure you’re keeping proper form
- Spot you when increasing weight
- Help you ease into a routine you may have never tried previously
- Provide positive encouragement and help push yourself harder
Take the leap of faith into fitness. Beginner athletes, no matter what shape or size, can learn what their minds and bodies are capable of with consistency and dedication. With the help of Thrive Fitness’ personal trainers, you can find your niche and learn proper farm with an expert’s supervision. Every professional athlete or bodybuilder started somewhere – so just start. Start your fitness journey today, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Going on vacation is a summer essential. Whether you’re surrounded by palm trees or mountains, there are plenty of ways to stay active and have a healthy vacation wherever you’re venturing to.
Just because you’re away from your home gym or Thrive Fitness Atlanta for the week doesn’t mean you have to lose sight of your goals and diet. Here are a guidelines to stay active on your next healthy vacation:
Walk Wherever You Can
If you’re staying downtown, try walking vs. driving to where you need to go. This allows you to burn extra calories, get some cardio in, soak in more of the sights and culture, while saving some money on an Uber. When you can’t spare the time to visit the local gym or park to workout, walking is a sufficient alternative. Just because it may not be as intense as your typical routine doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial. According to Livestrong, walking at an average pace can burn up to 200 calories an hour. When you’re busy exploring a new city, you can rack up thousands more steps than you would at home. Even just at your hotel – taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a huge difference. Those extra burned calories count when you want to indulge on the local cuisine (go for it).
Take Active Outings for a Healthy Vacation
Whether you’re traveling to a small town or big city, there’s always something adventurous to do. Experience your destination by active means – hiking, swimming, biking, rafting, jogging, and more. These activities are often offered in the form of group tours – making them even more social and enjoyable. Catch a glimpse of the area’s breathtaking views while still challenging your body. If you’re on your feet for most of your excursions, you don’t need to worry about being away from the gym. Getting a workout in on vacation doesn’t always have to be in the hotel’s gym – it can be a part of the vacation itself.
Adventures are always calling, so whether you’re at traveling or not – here’s how many calories that those adventures can shed for men (M) and women (F) in just one hour:
- Climbing: 899 (M), 774 (F)
- Kitesurfing: 945 (M), 814 (F)
- Canoeing: 572 (M), 493 (F)
- Horseback Riding: 327 (M), 279 (F)
- Mountain Biking: 694 (M), 594 (F)
- Surfing: 258 (M), 222 (F)
- Skateboarding: 408 (M), 352 (F)
- Swimming: 490 (M), 422 (F)
- Yoga: 387 (M), 281 (F)
Research Your Amenities
Hotel fitness centers aren’t ideal, but they’re better than nothing. Even if it’s just a treadmill and a few dumbbells, you can still scrap together a quick workout after your day of sightseeing. Those gyms don’t have personal training or a Body Fat Scanner – but they’ll still burn some calories. If there’s no fitness center, ask the front desk for local gyms they may have guest passes to or try some laps in the pool. Keep an eye out for common fitness events in the area you could fit in your itinerary – like 5k’s to free yoga at the local park.
Try Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Even if you don’t normally follow the popular fasting trend, vacations are a good time to start. Without a kitchen – you’ll usually be forced to resort to oversized restaurant portions. Don’t worry, IF won’t leave you feeling sluggish and unprepared to enjoy your healthy vacation – IF will actually improve your energy levels. This calculated change to your diet will allow you to indulge a few meals, while still not falling completely off the wagon. However, IF is not an excuse to overindulge on excessively fat-dense foods. It’s simply a tactic to keep your calorie count under control while eating out more often than not on vacation.
Water, Water, Water
Your location may be filled with tempting adult beverages – but too many could offset your goals. That’s why water should be your best friend away from home. Alcohol and sugary drinks lead us to underestimate how many calories and carbohydrates we’re really consuming. Drinking as little as two cups of water can help curb your appetite and keep you hydrated. This hack is useful come time for a carb-filled, high-calorie meal when eating out. When you’re walking from adventure-to-adventure, you’re losing more water than you think. Not fueling yourself with enough water, especially if you’re vacationing somewhere sunny, can cause anxiety, fatigue, and headaches.
Instead of relying on a juice detox after your summer vacation – just make it an active and healthy one. With Thrive Fitness Atlanta’s customized workout program and meal plan prepared by experienced personal trainers, you’ll have resources at your disposal for a healthy vacation – and a healthy lifestyle. Contact Thrive Fitness Atlanta at email@example.com today to create a lifestyle that you’ll carry to and from your travel destination.