It’s usually exciting when people decide to start exercising and they hit all the routines with vigour. However, a lot of beginners make the mistake of trying to do everything at once. When you push yourself too hard, there’s a higher chance of injuries and burnout especially for people who are obese or haven’t exercised in a long time. So if you’re planning to exercise at home, it’s important to take some precautions to avoid injuries.
Here are 7 important things you need to know:
1. Keep your current health status in mind
It is recommended that anyone interested in exercising should first assess their current health condition. Do you suffer from diabetes, heart disease, asthma, osteoporosis or other diseases? Are you taking any medication for blood pressure? Do you have a bone or joint problem? Have you ever had a stroke? If so, consult your doctor before starting an exercise program as these problems can interfere with your workout. Certain exercises and activities, such as high impact aerobics, are not recommended to those with back pain, arthritis, or cardiovascular disease.
2. Have a goal in mind
Before getting started, have clear goals in mind. This will keep you motivated and give you the strength you need to succeed. Maybe you want to lose 20 kg or get rid of belly fat. Maybe you dream of running a marathon or playing a football match. Or maybe you just want to tone up and have more energy. Your goals should be realistic and attainable
3. Be patient and consistent
You won’t get fit or lose massive weight overnight. The greater your goals, the more committed you have to be to achieve them so once you start a workout routine, understand that it takes time to see results and just stay the course.
4. Expect to lose steam
It happens to everyone, even established athletes. At some point, you would feel like anywhere else is better than the gym. Be aware that you’ll lose your motivation at some point. Keep in mind that exercise can be boring. However, this isn’t a reason to stop working out. There are plenty of ways to avoid routine – try new exercises, use new machines, or change your exercise routine.
The key is to focus on your goals and keep at what you’ve been doing. Reward yourself, break large goals into sub-goals, try new exercises, and do whatever it takes to stay motivated. Simple things, such as buying new workout clothes, asking a friend or loved one to join you, or trying a completely new activity may boost your motivation.
5. Adjust your diet
Regular exercise requires a commensurate diet change if you really want to reap the benefits. When you start exercising, your muscles will require more protein and complex carbs to grow and recover after working out. Now it’s more important than ever to limit the consumption of processed junk food and eat clean organic food consisting of adequate amounts of protein and amino acids, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Base your diet on lean meat, fish, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, fruit, and legumes
6. Pace yourself
If you exercise at home and you’re only just starting out, you can easily get injured. It’s therefore important to know when to stop. Muscle soreness and fatigue are perfectly normal, but pain, dizziness, and fever can be warning signs that something is wrong. Stop immediately in case of chest pain, muscle cramps, arrhythmia, and cold sweats.
If you do get injured on one part of the body, you can still exercise other areas. Overall, ensure you take enough time to recover and seek professional treatment, if needed. If the injuries persist or the other signs listed above, you can switch to different type of exercising, or at least do a less intense workout of what you typically do.
7. Stay hydrated
Dehydration occurs when water loss exceeds water intake and your body has less water and fluids than it should. This can cause muscle cramps and fatigue.
The best way to avoid dehydration is to drink enough water both during and after exercise. However, it is not necessary to consume fluids during exercise of less than 30 minutes.