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Lose Weight and Get Fit: Simple Tips to Get Started

Posted by Scott Stueber, CPCU, CISR, AAI on Jan 28, 2014 11:52:00 AM

fitness-instructorEvery year my New Year’s resolution is to exercise more, but, like many, I ‎go overboard and burn out very fast. Based on gym participation, January is a hectic ‎month. However, by February, the numbers are declining; people have ‎burned out with their exercise routine.

For many of us, free time always seems to be at a premium. There never seems to be enough time for a workout. If you’re like me, I do cardio exercises ‎‎(running, biking) but spend very little time weight training.

Weight training, however, should be a part of everyone’s exercise routine. The benefits of ‎weight training include:‎

• Increased metabolism;‎
• Burning extra calories while you sleep or are watching TV;‎
• Better posture, therefore gaining confidence in your appearance; ‎
• Improved muscle mass and endurance; and‎
• Bone density improvements.‎

Here are some tips for starting your workout routine, along with some core and ‎strength exercises you can do throughout the day.‎

Tips to get started

1. Keep records. Will keeping a record of your workout routine help you feel successful? It ‎keeps some people motivated, while others find it a waste of time. Figure out what type ‎of person you are. If tracking your routine helps, there are various ways, including ‎Excel spreadsheets and smartphone apps. 

2. Find a workout buddy. Work out with a friend, co-worker, or family member who ‎shares your goals. This extra accountability can keep you motivated. If you can’t find a ‎workout buddy, consider hiring a personal trainer to get you started. ‎
3. Vary your workout. When you begin your workout program, it may be fun and exciting; ‎however, it can become mundane after a while. Most facilities have a lot of different ‎equipment and offer a variety of classes. If you’re getting bored, don’t quit! Go outside ‎your comfort zone and join a class or ask for a brief orientation on some new pieces of ‎equipment or exercise moves.‎

Core and Strength exercises

Bridge. This is an excellent exercise for beginners, especially if you live a sedentary life. The ‎bridge exercise will help strengthen your hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. ‎

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Plank. The plank also works your core region, including your abs, lower back, glutes, ‎and hamstrings. Most people are very weak in their lower back, so this is a great exercise ‎to help strengthen your back without stressing it. ‎

To start, hold the plank position for 30 seconds and then rest for a minute. Your starting ‎goal should be three sets of planks. As you get stronger, consider increasing your time. ‎

You're getting stronger if you can do three sets, holding each plank for a minute. The ‎plank is a great exercise you can do with your family. Consider a plank challenge. Please note that proper plank form is very important.‎ To learn how to do a plank, click here.

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Push-ups. Push-ups are a great strength exercise because you can do them anytime ‎and anywhere! ‎

Many people, however, avoid doing push-ups because they’re too difficult or do them ‎incorrectly. If push-ups are a challenge for you, consider starting with knee push-ups. To ‎complete a knee push-up, your hands should be back from your shoulders with elbows ‎pointing backward at a 45-degree angle. Don’t extend your hands too far in front of you ‎since this will put extra torque on your internal shoulder rotators. Everything from your ‎knees up should move up simultaneously in a line.‎

The proper technique for toe push-ups is the same. Your chest should come down ‎between your hands. Many people place their hands too far in front of their bodies and ‎do not have a good range of motion. That technique is incorrect.‎ 

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These strength exercises are great because you can do them anytime and don’t need expensive equipment. ‎

Do you have any exercise tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. Please share ‎them in the box below.‎

Disclaimer: Before beginning an exercise routine, please consult your physician.

Topics: Health Tips

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