Many people think that the harder and more often they work out, the faster they will see results. That is not always true. Many people unfortunately make the mistake of trying to do too much too fast and they injure themselves or they get frustrated and give up. Another problem people commonly have is that they get impatient if they do not reach their goals fast enough. If you are new to the world of exercise and fitness, it is important that you start with realistic goals.
If you are doing a cardiovascular exercise, do not skip the warm up and cool down parts of the sequence. The warm increases blood flow to your muscles so that you will have more endurance and stamina without over-exerting yourself. The cool down is important for gradually slowing your heart. Do not ever just jump on a piece of exercise equipment and go full throttle; you will only wear yourself out quickly. The goal is endurance, not speed. Sustained cardio for longer periods is better than short, intense bursts of exercise.
Don’t Over Lift
As with cardio, you do not want to hit the weights like a mad man and lift as much as you can at one time. Increase your number of repetitions slowly and then increase the amount of weight you lift. Start out at a reasonable level and slowly work your way up. If you are unsure how much you should lift or how quickly you should increase your routine, ask one of the gym’s trainers for assistance. You can do serious, permanent muscle damage if you push yourself too fast.
Men usually want to develop chiseled abs. Women often want firmer legs or arms. Both are great goals, but they will not happen overnight. In fact, no matter what part or parts of your body you are trying to develop, do not expect to see drastic results within a week or two. If you do it properly, muscle building usually takes months to years. That is not to say that you will not see improvement within the first month, but plan on being patient and continually working to achieve your body building goals.
Even if you can lose 5 lbs. in one week, that does not mean it is always a good idea. If you push yourself to lose weight too quickly, you will end up hitting a weight loss plateau. When you plateau, it means your body is saying, “This is the weight I feel comfortable with and I’m not budging!” Plateaus can be notoriously difficult and frustrating to get past. You are better off to set a modest goal per week and stick to it. As with exercise, you get the longer-lasting results from weight loss if you take your time and keep up a steady routine.
It might seem tempting to immerse yourself into an intense exercise routine to get quick results, but you will likely only burn yourself out. The give 110% all the time rule does not always apply to personal fitness. Muscles need time to break down a little and heal before you can build them back up. Be consistent, but not over-zealous.
About the Author: Kimi Dusenbury recommends anyone new to fitness talk to a personal trainer at least once to avoid mistakes in form or intensity. She loves to work out and spends an hour in the gym before her phlebotomist training classes each day.