Stop Tolerating Your Workout: Beginner’s Strategies For Enjoyable Exercise
Honestly, there is nothing glamorous or amazing about starting a new fitness routine. If you're moving from sedentary living to a more active lifestyle, you may find you start to dread working out because it makes you tired, bored, sore, or uncomfortable. Unfortunately, when you're first starting out, workouts can be a chore. However, by doing a few things right, you can raise the enjoyment factor until you actually start looking forward to hitting the gym.
Boredom is a problem for many people who start moving every day. If you have a low fitness level, you're probably not ready to start playing team sports or something more engaging. Most likely, you'll be starting on the elliptical, treadmill, indoor track, or swimming pool. Repetitive exercise is the recipe for boredom. Push through this phase so you can get your cardio levels higher in order to join a spinning or aerobic dance class.
One of the ways you can curb the boredom of starting out is by investing in a good portable music player with a set of bluetooth earbuds, like from JayBird Sport. Cords get in the way when you run, and it can be a pain to have to keep your listening device on your person when on the treadmill. This way, you have no cords that get caught on machines, you have more freedom of motion, and you don't have to worry about wearing armbands to hold your player in place.
Listening to some good songs as your workout can motivate you and keep you interested. You can even shake things up by listening to an audio book or podcast.
Socks And Shoes
Another aspect of working out that can be less than enjoyable is developing blisters or shin splits due to ill-fitting socks and shoes. Even if you're just walking around the neighborhood, you shouldn't use an old pair of tennis shoes or work boots as your exercise footwear.
Invest in a good pair of cross trainers or running shoes. These will give good support through the arch of your foot, and keep your ankles secure through the impact of a step. You can get fitted for shoes at a sports store. They will analyze your gait and fit your shoes based on how you walk and run. It's important to remember that the feet swell slightly during exercise, so it's a good idea to buy workout shoes that are a half or full size larger than your street shoes. Otherwise, your shoes will be tight and uncomfortable during a workout.
In order to avoid blisters, invest in some thick socks that have pressure through the arch and bridge of the foot. Some running socks are actually made from two layers so your feet do not rub on the shoes at all-- the outside layer rubs against the shoe, while the inside layer stays firm on your foot.
Nutrition Before And After
That feeling of fatigue you get as you're working can come from a lack of fitness, but it can also point to poor exercise nutrition. Try to eat a small meal of carbohydrates an hour or two before your workout. Something as simple a banana or a bowl of oatmeal will do. This means that your body is not running on empty, and eating will boost your energy levels during your workout.
After exercise, follow up with a snack that is higher in protein, like scrambled eggs or a protein shake, in order to help the body to rebuild muscles. It's best to eat as soon as possible after working out, ideally within 30 minutes. This will help the body to repair itself faster, reducing muscle soreness. One of the biggest complaints from beginners is that exercise hurts, and it dissuades them from continuing. This way of eating will directly combat some of your discomfort.
If you're determined to go all in when you start out, you may end doing too much and causing yourself undue pain or injury. At first, it's always better to start slowly, even if you feel like you could do more. You may feel fine during a workout, but your body will not thank you later if you push yourself too hard. You can set a plan for yourself by timing your workouts and intensity.
For example, you could begin by walking for two minutes, jogging for one, and then doing five pushups. Repeat this cycle multiple times. After a few days, add a half minute to the run time, and add two more pushups. You can also add rotations of the set as you get more fit, and reduce walk time. Continue to build up endurance in this manner and you'll enjoy exercise and avoid injury.