Beginners Guide To Starting Exercise In Autumn
If you are new to exercise or returning you may find it harder to motivate yourself now we are in Autumn and it’s getting colder and darker. The great news is you have already taken the first step by thinking about how you can make the most of the 3 months left of 2021. Now to set your goals, plan your routines and get the trainers on for your first workout!
Setting Your Goals
Firstly, make sure you check in with a health provider before starting your new workout routine especially if you are making dramatic changes to your lifestyle or starting vigorous exercise.
Now the big question, why are you wanting to start exercising? There can be many and multiple reasons for exercising: increasing your fitness, losing weight, improving mental health, whatever your reasons it is important to check you are healthy enough to start. Write your goals down now and make sure there is a date you want to achieve them by - share them with someone else and become accountable!
Now you have your goals you need to think about your weekly exercise routine. A big reason for failure with exercise is not having a good routine and forming positive habits. The recommendations are for moderate exercise 150 minute per week and for vigorous exercise 75 minutes per week and to include 2 x strength sessions - if you are unsure what exercises count and need examples the NHS has a guide here.
If you are unsure how to plan your weekly exercise routine, starting with a professional like a Personal Trainer can really help to set up your plan or following a gym or online class timetable. The NHS also has a free 12 week exercise plan or you can download apps like Couch to 5k for running. Make sure you put your exercise sessions in your diary - make them an appointment to yourself!
Workout Space / Equipment
Depending on your goals and time availability will depend on what environment you workout in. If you have a running goal you may head straight out on the roads, if you are time short home workouts can be a great option and if you want to use strength based equipment the gym can be great! Whatever you choose first, make sure that you are working out in a clean and tidy environment and you have the right clothing to wear too. You don’t need equipment straight away, your body is fantastic as a weight doing exercises like squats and press ups! I would highly recommend a yoga mat as they are good for floor based exercises and stretching.
Reducing Risk Of Injury
Make sure that you have rest days within your weekly routine. When planning your exercise plan avoid doing similar muscle groups back to back split the week up. Always warm up and cool down before exercising - go check out our other blogs for the benefits and examples.
What To Eat And Drink
Make sure that you stay hydrated when you are exercising. During the day it is recommended to have 6-8 glasses of fluids. If you are exercising you may need more to replace any sweat lost make sure you have water with you when exercising.
Eating a well balanced meal 2-3 hours before exercise will fuel your workouts as a beginner. Only when you are exercising for longer periods of time and at an athlete level do you need a more specialised diet.
Written by Performance For All - find us on Instagram @wearepfa
Researched and written by Jade Mottley - Sport Scientist and MSc Human Nutrition student (Head Coach at Performance For All)