Updated: Apr 16
Today I woke up in a bad mood. What can you do – sometimes it happens. We’re girls so it can be anything from pre-period pain to a bad dream, lack of sleep, rainy day, or an argument that happened the day before. All-day I waited to shift it around, but nothing.. Still cranky! So I decided to go for a long walk and hit the gym. After coming back I felt awesome, so I’m writing this article to suggest the best way how to start working out!
Why you should exercise?
How often you’ve heard people saying “Go to the gym. Start exercising, you’ll feel great”, but what does that mean? The word “Great” has many meanings and if you haven’t really felt “the sporty greatness” then it's hard to relate. So for people who never felt it or even worse, has felt the negative side of sporting (such as when he has over-exercised) then it’s nearly impossible to change his mind about fitness.
I'll try to describe here what the word ‘’great’’ means for me. I workout because exercise helps with my anger release, feeling of productivity and achievement that’s great for self-esteem. All of this can be applied emotionally.
Physically, I feel my joints moving, muscles that have been sitting the whole day stretching and blood circulation floating. You see, when you’re moving, your heart needs more blood so all the circulation kicks in. And there’s nothing better than getting your blood going – you start to feel alive and mobile.
Also, what happens on a physical level is that your body releases a special hormone called endorphin (most commonly known as the happy hormone) which makes you feel pleased and less-stressed. Put those emotional and physical effects together and there you go – that ‘’awesome feeling after a workout’’ explained.
From my experience, I can tell you right now that the best way how to start working out for beginners is little by little. Incorporate movements in your life slowly and allow your body to get used to it.
Put those emotional and physical effects together and there you go – that ‘’awesome feeling after a workout’’ explained.
Once you start exercising, your appetite increases because you’re in need of more energy (aka food). Allow your body to get used to this and give it time to settle.
The biggest mistake, in my opinion, is that people are trying to hit both – intensive exercising and cutting calories, but this is by far the fastest way to feel like crap. Trust me, even the slightest calorie cutback will tremendously be felt, especially if you’re a beginner.
How To Start Working Out For Beginners
Back went I started, I just jogged for 5 minutes, 7 minutes, sometimes 10 in my strong days, but my food habits stayed the same. Not that I was eating junk all day long, but I did not cut down calorie intake also.
When I got passed the starting point and got used to my movement I added a change in my diet (not huge changes, but small ones like replacing sugar with honey or banana). I felt that all this hard work that I’m putting in must be appreciated so I started to respect and acknowledge my effort.
My point here is this - it was a graduate lifestyle change instead of a rapid transition.
I suggest the same method for beginners. Start with workouts and only then mind your food choices after. Thankfully, there are many great workout apps out there so you don't even need to go to that smelly gym, especially if you don't feel comfortable.
As for the apps, if you don't mind paying a bit of money then I would suggest fitness apps like Sworkit. They have a great variety of bodyweight workouts that are home-based. With Sworkit you can select something you don't hate and replace the move if you don't like it.
If you're over 50, have a chronic condition or just want to ease your beginning then look into therapeutic kinesiology tapes or massage foam rollers to relieve your fitness journey. I believe that everybody can do fitness regardless of level or age. Have a look at the BodBot app as it takes into consideration previous injuries and sore joints.
Good vs Bad Way How To Start Exercising
To back up my previous point on starting slow, I can present an example from my life. Back when I lived in Denmark, I persuaded my friend to join me in TRX Class. She was not really sporty but I thought it’s just 30 minutes long: what can go wrong? As class became more intense, she started to see black around her eyes and nearly passed out.
From my experience, I can tell you right now that the best way how to start working out for beginners is little by little.
Then and there I realized the incorrect approach and how it should be changed for beginners. Actually, the unfriendly start is something that the major fitness apps and programs are doing with all the new starters. For instance, I wouldn't recommend workout apps like JeFit for newcomers even though it's a good app.
They put someone super-fit in front of you so you wanna be like him. In reality, you're left alone with false beliefs. That guy or girl in front of you has probably eaten boiled chicken all day for 3 weeks straight to bring his body fat close to 0%. Not only it’s not maintainable, but also dangerous to your health because it’s playing with your whole system.
Not to mention the poor quality of life you get here!? A great resource to read more about the importance of nutrient intake is in the book called "A Complete Guide To Nutrients" by Dr. Michael Sharon (1).
The truth is, muscle building is Months and Months of hard work and what has worked for him/her probably won’t work for you.
You really just need to start slow and give your body time to get used to your new calorie expenditure. This is the only way how to start exercising. Your appetite will increase, but once that’s stable you can start changing your habits by picking whole-grain bread over the white one.
If you want fast results, then sure: go for hard dieting and intensive HIIT with BodyBoss which is quite a strict workout program. But personally I think it’s just a matter of time when a counter-reaction will develop. Once back to your previous lifestyle you’ll pick up the Yo-Yo effect gaining more weight than before (spoken from my own experience). This is not what positive fitness is all about! Start slow and grow big!
It doesn't matter if you're looking for ways how to start working out again or how to start exercising at 50, do it slowly and the results will be rewarding.
Let’s motivate all those people out there who think that feeling depressed and lacking energy is a normal feeling! Share what does ‘’feeling great after a workout’’ means for you?