If you have decided to start exercising, then you’ve just handed your body easily the best gift you ever could. Aside from the obvious benefits of weight loss and muscle toning, exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of various diseases such as arthritis, heart disease and cancer. The body is naturally resistant to rapid change and that’s why many people fall off the bandwagon very early in their exercise regime. The best workouts for beginners should ideally be low intensity exercises which can then be modified gradually as your body adjusts. A good workout program for beginners should include aerobics and strength and flexibility training. It may be confusing to divide your week adequately to encompass these requirements. However, an ideal workout schedule should include three days of aerobics and 2 days of strength training. The sample workout program below can give you an idea of what a typical workout week should be like:
Day 1 – Cardio
This can involve walking around the block or using a treadmill for 30 minutes. A stationary bike or elliptical can also come in handy. Whichever workout you chose, the first 5 minutes should be all about warming up by maintaining a comfortable pace. Pick up the pace or resistance to a higher level for the next 20 minutes. A good way to maintain a good workout intensity it to monitor your heart rate and ensure it is between 50 and 80% of your average maximum heart-rate. Your maximum heart-rate can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220, so if your are 50 years old yours would be 170 beats per minute. For the final 5 minutes lower the intensity to warm up level so as to cool down.
Day 2- strength training
Again a 5-10 minutes warm up is advisable and you should also include some muscle stretch exercises. Different strength training exercises target different parts of the body:
1. Upper body- this includes biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest and upper back muscles. For these exercises some of the items you may require are weights, dumbbells and an exercise ball. The weights should be carefully selected; they shouldn’t be too heavy nor too light. Some upper body workouts include bicep flexes and triceps extensions using weights and push ups. For each exercise targeting different muscle groups, perform at least 1 set of between 10 and 15 reps each.
2. Lower body
This mainly encompasses the legs and hips. Some exercises that target muscles in this are are floor squats, calf lifts and butt blasters. Do at least 2 sets of 10- 15 reps for each workout.
3. Core muscles
These include abdominal, lower back and hip muscles all of which are responsible for core body strength. Crunches, planks and back extensions are key exercises for toning abs and lower back. You should perform at least 1 set of 10 – 16 reps for each type of exercise.
Day 3- rest
Take this day off or engage in yoga or light stretching exercises. Rest gives your muscles time to heal and recover.
Day 4- back to cardio
Same as Day 1 but why not go for a different approach. If you walked the treadmill on day 1 why not try walking up and down the stairs this time?
Day 5- Strength training
Same as day 2 but target different muscles this time to ensure all your muscles are exercised during the week.
Day 6- back to cardio, again varying the approach.
Day 7- rest.
Your diet plays an important role in achieving your weight loss or body-building goals. For weight loss you have to achieve a calorie deficit and for muscle building, you will need a diet rich in protein. Various supplements from optimum nutrition , a reputed company can help you achieve your goals. They can be bought online and at various physical chemists and stores.