If you’re new to health and fitness, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the information out there and hard to identify where to start. At the root of health are your body, mind, and soul. Fitness refers to the “body” portion and is where we’ll focus on diet and exercise.
Without getting in depth, because you’re just dipping your toe in the water, remember ONE thing when it comes to diet. EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. Make at least half your meal fruits and vegetables and you’ll get full, tons of nutrition, and eat a lot less calories.
There are three areas to train your body with exercise:
So where do you start? Remember 3, 3, 3.
- 30 Minutes
- 3 Days a week
- 3 Months
If you’re able to keep up with 30 minutes of cardio, 3 days a week, for 3 months, you’ve successfully started a regular exercise program.
Cardio respiratory exercise refers to increasing the heart rate and breathing rate to strengthen the heart and increase breathing efficiency Some examples of various exercise are:
- Jump Rope
Many of these cardio activities you can do anywhere. My suggestion is to pick one or two that you enjoy and do those 3x/wk.
Once you get to the 3 month mark and you’re still doing your cardio 3x per week, increase the frequency to 5 days per week or increase the duration to 50 minutes per session.
You can always increase your frequency and duration whenever you’re ready.
Resistance and Strength Training
People should be getting a full body strength work out 2 – 3 times per week, but very few of us actually do. My suggestion for getting started is that before your cardio sessions, warm up with this full body strength training workout that only takes about 5 minutes and will help strengthen your arms, upper back, core, lower back, butt, quads, hamstrings, and your calves. Boom.
- 10 Push Ups (on your knees is okay starting out. Once you can do more than 10 pushups on your knees it’s time to move on to regular push ups for more of a challenge.)
- 25 crunches – of any type: some examples are reverse crunches, regular sit ups, bicycle crunches, scissor crunches
- Side plank (left and right sides) try to hold each side for 1 minute. Hold as long as you can until you reach one minute.
If you do these 3 exercises 3 days a week for 3 months, you’ll be ready to add more movement and resistance (more weight) to your exercise.
It’s important to stretch before and after you exercise. It’s often overlooked because of time constraints but is important for preventing injuries and for recovery after your workout.
- Stretching before cardio – do some dynamic stretching for 3 – 5 minutes before your workout. Dynamic stretching means, stretching the muscles that will be worked in your cardio session in an active stretch, moving and stretching at the same time. This will warm up and prepare your muscles for impact.
- Stretch after your cardio – this will be your static stretching. Static stretching is your stretches with long holds. This lengthens the muscles and helps return blood slowly to the rest of the body after the workout.
That’s it! Now you have exactly what you need for a successful starting point on your health and fitness journey. You can increase your duration and intensity when you feel strong, stable, and able.
Don’t forget to take the time to stretch to prepare your body for workouts and for repairing benefits that follow.
Choose exercises that you find are enjoyable. If you find yourself jogging and hate every second of it because you’re board, you’re likely to quit because it’s not engaging you.
Find something that makes you feel good and want more and more every day. Do this and you are sure to start a successful and healthful fitness journey.
Below are pics from my hike when I recorded this video/article.