Good Exercise Workouts for Beginners

Posted in: Exercise, Getting Started, Workouts   

Exercise workouts for beginners are a great way to gradually work up to physical fitness. If you have never worked out before, or if you have been avoiding exercise for years, you’ll want to start very slowly to avoid injury. First things first; be sure to check with your doctor to be sure exercise is safe for you. Once that’s done, consider what kind of exercise would be best for you:

Beginner Exercise Workout – Walking

Walking is a popular beginner workout because it’s very low-impact and you can go at your own pace.  You can even do it inside if you have a treadmill or belong to a gym.  You can do it virtually anywhere, alone or with a friend.  Most beginners start by walking one mile daily, and gradually increasing their speed and distance once they get strong enough.  Be sure to warm up by walking slowly for the first 5 minutes, then increase your speed until you are walking briskly.  Stay at that pace through most of the mile, then slow your pace again for the last 5 minutes to cool down.  Afterwards, gently stretch your legs, arms, and back.

See: Couch to 5k Exercise Plan

Beginner Exercise Workout – Strength Training

Walking is a great cardiovascular exercise for beginners, and strength training is a great way to tone and strengthen your muscles.  Most beginners will want to start with light dumbbell weights; 1-pound weights are good, but you can even start with 3-pound weights if you’re strong enough.  Strength training workouts are exactly what they sound like, you lift the weights in various positions to strengthen your muscles.  Here is a common strength training move:

Stand with feet shoulder width apart, and holding one dumbbell in each hand, slowly raise your arms out to the sides, coming up to shoulder height, and with the backs of your hands facing up toward the ceiling.  Then lower your arms slowly back to your sides, and repeat.  Ten repetitions of this move is a good start for beginners.

There are many more strength training exercises than I can describe in this article; your best bet is to join a class or buy a DVD that will demonstrate how to safely perform strength training exercises.

See: Bodybuilding and Weight Training Section

Beginner Exercise Workout – Swimming

Swimming is unique because it’s really a cardio workout and a strength training workout in one!  As you swim laps, you are using your arms and legs to move through the water, which provides resistance to strengthen your muscles and gets your heart rate up at the same time.  If you don’t have a pool of your own, you might consider joining a gym with a pool.  Another option is to find out if there is a YMCA or YWCA near you; their memberships are reasonably priced and most of them have a pool for public use.  Some of them even hold water aerobic classes you could participate in.

There are many more exercise workouts for beginners available – dance classes, aerobic classes, various exercise machines and more.  Think about the kinds of exercise that appeal to you most, and go from there.

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