If you're concerned about your rapidly growing waistline and recent changes to your diet haven't improved your physique, starting an exercise routine can make a difference. But if you've never worked out, it's unlikely that you'll sign up for a challenging fitness boot camp or enroll in a circuit training program at your gym. For people new to the world of working out, simple, moderate exercises are key.
Break a Sweat with Cardio
Exercise for weight loss doesn't have to be complicated. A number of simple types of cardio exercise will contribute to a fast-paced calorie burn and lead to a number of overall health benefits. Walking is a suitable activity for people new to working out; even the most amateur fitness buff should know how to take a walk. Other simple cardio exercises include increasing your walking pace to a light jog, riding a bicycle or dancing around your home.
Keep Your Strength Training Simple
For a beginner, visiting a gym and seeing a weight machine's handles and pulleys can be daunting. Instead of getting overwhelmed, strength train by lifting weights or performing simple body-weight exercises. Pushups, for example, can strengthen your pecs, while crunches and squats will build your abs and quads, respectively. Curl a dumbbell to strengthen your biceps, shrug a barbell to target your traps or hold a medicine ball against your chest to elevate the challenge of a set of situps. Always train your major muscle groups evenly to avoid building an off-balance body.
Get Together with Friends
One of the best ways to get exercise without feeling as though you're working out is by enjoying the activity. Exercising with friends is a social experience that can quickly make you forget that you're improving your health. Find some other fitness novices and play team sports such as basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball and flag football. Each sport provides a cardiovascular workout and strengthens your body. Individual activities to consider include hiking, inline skating and yoga; many yoga studios offer classes for those who are completely new to the practice.
Know Your Fitness Targets
Taking a short walk once per week might be drastically increasing your typical amount of exercise, but it's not enough for ideal fitness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should strength train at least twice a week and devote around 150 minutes to cardio exercise every week. Together, both types of workout create a well-rounded fitness routine. If your previously inactive lifestyle has become a habit, find time for exercise by getting up 30 minutes earlier each morning or involving your family and friends in your new workouts.
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- ExRx.net: Crunch
- MayoClinic.com: Video: Squat Exercise
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Curl
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- MayoClinic.com: Fitting in Fitness: Finding Time for Physical Activity
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images