Everything a Beginner Needs to Know About Fitness

TEXT: Everything a Beginner Needs to Know About Fitness

Your Guide to ‘Everything a Beginner Needs to Know About Fitness’

Starting a fitness journey can be both exciting and overwhelming. With countless workout programs, dietary advice, and fitness trends, it’s easy to feel lost. But don’t worry, this guide covers everything a beginner needs to know to embark on a successful fitness journey.

  1. Set clear, realistic, achievable goals.

Goals are important as they give you motivation and direction. Without them, it’s easy to lose focus and give up. 

What is it that you want to achieve? Do you want more energy, to be stronger, to lose weight (fat), to be more flexible or mobile, to run a marathon, or to run around with your kids, grandkids?

Use SMART fitness goals to keep you on track. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Specific – The best way to set goals is to be specific. Instead of saying ‘I want to get fit’ or ‘I want to lose weight’, set a specific goal like ‘I want to run a 5k in three months’ or ‘I want to be able to do a push up’.

Measurable – Make them measurable. You can measure the distance of your run or the time it takes you to complete it, or how many push ups you want to be able to do, i.e 3 full push ups with no break.

Attainable – Ensure that they are achievable and attainable. Set realistic goals that match your fitness level. Don’t aim to run a marathon in 3 months if you have never worked out. Each small goal that you achieve then creates another further down the line, which leads to bigger goals overall. Imagine what a small goal each month would look like in 6 or 12 months. 

Relevant – Stay relevant. Make sure that your goals harmonise with your life, health and fitness. If you are limited to specific exercises because of injuries, medical conditions or recommendations from a doctor, focus on the exercises that you can do.

Time-bound – Have a specific amount of time within which you want to achieve your goals. There is no set rule on how long this should be, but most SMART goals aim to take 1 – 3 months to achieve. Working towards a deadline helps you to stay accountable, to keep going and not to give up.

  1. Understanding the basics of exercise

The different types of exercise are:

Cardiovascular (cardio) – this includes activities such as running, cycling, skipping and swimming. Cardio keeps the heart and lungs functioning efficiently. 

Strength/resistance training – this includes lifting weights, using resistance machines or bodyweight exercises such as pushups. Strength training builds muscle and strength.

Flexibility, mobility and balance – Yoga and stretching improve flexibility and prevent injuries.

Make sure that you choose something that you enjoy and look forward to doing, as this will help with maintaining motivation, reducing stress and improving consistency.

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, along with 2- 3 days of strength training.

  1. Learn proper form and technique. 

Using the correct form prevents injuries and strains and means that you are getting the best out of your workout.  

Start with lighter weights and master the movement before increasing the weight. If you are exercising at home, use mirrors so that you can see that you are doing the exercise correctly, as well as correcting your posture. 

Seek professional guidance – attending fitness classes, joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer are all great ways to ensure that you are working out correctly as well as helping with motivation and accountability. W fitness provides a 30-minute circuit along with a programme designed by a personal trainer for your specific fitness goals. We also offer personal training and many different types of classes from Zumba and Dancercise to Fitness Yoga and Legs, Bums and Tums. Have a look at our website, wfitness.co.uk to see our full timetable.

  1. Have a balanced workout routine. 

Make sure to warm up with a few minutes of light cardio to prepare your muscles. Combine both cardio and strength training into your main workout. Cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes at the end of your workout to improve flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.

A good example of a workout routine might be:

Monday – 20 minute brisk walk and 30 minutes of upper body strength training (Upper Body Tone would be a good class to achieve this!).

Wednesday – 30 minutes cardio – such as Zumba or Dancercise and 30 minutes of full body strength training (such as BodyBlast or Total Toning!)

Friday – 20 minutes brisk walk and 30 minutes of full body strength training (such as our circuit!)

  1. Focus on nutrition. 

It’s important to focus on nutrition as what you eat fuels your workouts and aids in recovery. Proper nutrition is vital for achieving your goals. Imagine trying to drive your petrol car after putting diesel into it, you wouldn’t get very far and it’s the same with fitness goals.

Ensure that your diet includes carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats in appropriate proportions. Eat whole foods and focus on vegetables, fruits, lean protein such as chicken and fish, and whole grains. Try to avoid processed foods and limit sugary drinks, fast food and sugary snacks.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before and after working out. Aim for 2-3 litres a day, but make sure to space it out throughout the day. Don’t just drink 2 litres in one go!

  1. Rest and recovery.

Rest and recovery are important. Muscles need time to repair and grow, and adequate rest prevents overstraining and injuries. 

Make sure that you get enough sleep – aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep a night.

Take rest days from your workouts. Include at least one full day a week to allow your body to recover. This can be an ‘active rest’ where you go for a gentle walk.

Listen to your body, if you’re feeling excessively sore or fatigued, give yourself extra rest.

  1. Stay consistent and be patient.

Be consistent with your workouts and healthy eating. Consistency really is key. Results take time and staying consistent with your workouts and nutrition plan is essential to help you reach your goals. Don’t worry if you miss a day or overdo the calories – just get back to it the next day. Over 6 months or a year, those few days won’t make any difference. Not being consistent could have a very different outlook over the same timescale.

Find an accountability partner. Working out with a friend or joining in fitness classes helps to keep you accountable. You are more likely to go if someone is going with you.

Track your progress and reward yourself. Keep a journal or use apps to monitor your workouts and improvements. This is great for motivation and makes you want to keep going 😊 As you reach each small goal, treat yourself to something nice such as a night at the cinema, a long hot bubble bath, a massage or a new book.

Mix it up. Avoid boredom by trying new classes and varying your routine. At W Fitness, we do monthly reviews of your workout to keep you engaged and continuously progressing, we also have over 100 classes a month to keep you wanting to come back for more!

  1. Improve your mental health.

Regular exercise can improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety and enhance cognitive function.

Set positive affirmations – focus on what you can do and not on your limitations.

Celebrate small wins – recognise and reward your progress, no matter how small.

Stay motivated – keep reminding yourself why you started and how far you have come.

Starting a fitness journey is a commendable step towards a healthier and happier life. By setting clear goals, understanding the basics of exercise and nutrition, and staying consistent, you are paving the way for your healthiest, most fit lifestyle possible You will achieve significant results in your overall health and fitness. Remember to be patient with yourself, celebrate your achievements, and enjoy the process. Your fitness journey is not just about transforming your body—it’s about enhancing your overall well-being.

To recap, here’s a quick 5 top tips to get and keep you on track:

  1. Set realistic goals, that are attainable
  2. Start small and progress gradually
  3. Match your nutrition to your workouts
  4. Stay consistent with a schedule of activities that you enjoy
  5. Track and reward your progress

Above all, be kind to yourself and treat your body like your most prized possession!

Get in touch if you’re wanting to take the first step on your fitness journey – we can’t wait to help you achieve your goals 😊 

Much Love

Caroline & Hannah xx