5 Types of Exercises to Try if You Want to Get Active
Made a new year’s resolution to get moving, but yet to get going? We understand – starting out on a fitness journey can be pretty daunting and, for some, even the thought alone of getting out of breath can be enough to put you off taking the first step. However, once you jump over that hurdle (or take the plunge if you're more into water sports!) you'll soon start to feel the benefits of regular exercise, as you notice yourself getting fitter and your body getting stronger. Trust us, with a little perseverance you may even grow to love physical exercise so much that getting your fitness fix becomes the very highlight of your day. So, there really is no need to sweat it! To help you hit the ground running, we're here to walk you through your options, whether that involves working out at the gym, the pool, the badminton court, or even from the comfort of your very own home! Without further ado, follow our five top tips for getting active. Sometimes, to get your feet moving, all you need is a little inspiration…
Wondering how to start exercising? Let's start with walking – a simple but effective sport
Often overlooked, walking provides more of a workout than you may have originally thought! In fact, taking a stroll for just half an hour per day is enough to increase your health and keep your bones strong, no matter your age. While walking may not necessarily be the top choice for those looking for a high-intensity sport, it's still a great option for all – especially beginners, as its low impact nature means you are unlikely to strain your muscles or risk pushing your body too far. That doesn't strictly mean you won't feel a few aches and pains in your legs the day after a long walk though – especially if you include inclines in your routes – but there shouldn’t be any long-lasting damage!
To feel the full health benefits of walking, you need to make sure to create a routine and stick to it. Because it’s a gentle method of exercise, it requires daily commitment if you want to really see results. With time, you'll notice that walking frequently really does build up your stamina and you may even end up surprising yourself, covering significant distances and walking for hours per day! If you have a furry friend, why not bring them along for the journey too? They're guaranteed to love it, and our guide to the Best UK Dog Walks is sure to provide you with some location inspiration!
Whether at the gym or your own home, starting with a simple weight training programme is a great plan for beginners
If you're looking for less of a cardio-based workout and are more interested in gaining muscle mass, then a basic weight training programme may just do the trick! This is a great option for those starting out on their quest to get in shape, as it can be done at home, whether that be in your living room or in your garden when it's warm outside. This means you can really throw yourself into your programme and get sweaty without worrying about people around you, which is often one of the main factors holding people back from exercising. Make sure to start with a 5-minute aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging or jumping jacks, as well as stretching, to warm up properly and avoid unwanted strains. From there, you can begin your strength training. This often includes exercises such as planks, lunges, squats, bicep curls and more. The exercises you choose all depend on your own fitness level, as well as the muscle groups you're looking to target. You can create your own plan, find a tutorial to follow online, or sign up to a class at your local gym! Just remember to take it easy as pushing your body too far risks injury, which may in turn put you off this exercise in the long term. Start out slow and build things up gradually!
Wondering how to get fitter? Swimming is a great workout idea for starters!
Swimming is an excellent exercise choice for beginners, as it is super-accessible no matter what shape you're in. Moving in water can even take the stress off your joints and help ease any pains you may be experiencing in your body, making swimming somewhat of a low-impact therapy for injuries. What's more, this sport provides a full-body workout thanks to the fact it obliges you to use the muscles in your arms, shoulders, legs, chest and core! As a result, slowly but surely, you'll be able to build muscle mass and see and feel a difference in your entire body. We suggest starting out by heading to your local pool and simply swimming lengths at a pace that feels good for you. Take short 20-30 second breaks in between each one (or longer if need be), and over time you'll be able to increase the number of lengths you do without stopping. Just make sure you don't dive into the deep end by trying to swim too many laps on your first day! Even ten lengths is enough to get started. Ultimately, it's all about consistency. After each dip, you want to feel good enough to be able to return to the pool every couple of days, in order to keep your level up. And, if swimming sounds like something you'd love to try but you just don't know how, why not sign up to lessons at your nearest pool? It really is never too late to learn this life skill, and it’s always good to try something new!
Hitting the badminton court is a fun and sociable way to work out, for both men and women!
For the social butterflies among you, nothing will motivate you to keep up with regular exercise more than doing it alongside likeminded people! Badminton is a great sport for just that, as it requires at least two players, meaning social interaction comes guaranteed. Badminton is also pretty easy to pick up as, at an amateur level, it doesn't demand too much skill – you'll be a pro in no time! Great for your stamina and reducing shortness of breath, this sport sees you dashing around the court at a fair pace while following the shuttlecock and, as a natural consequence of this, participating in this sport is guaranteed to improve your hand-eye coordination! Running, jumping, sliding and stretching – you will be having so much fun focusing on winning that you may not even notice just how much your body is moving! And since the non-stop nature of this activity demands all your focus, it’ll take your mind off everything else, helping you to de-stress. As a result, this really is the perfect sport for those who live life in the fast lane. Whether with a local club at a leisure centre or in your back garden with a friend, badminton is a fantastic physical activity to get your heart rate up and have a bit of competitive fun! You’re sure to build up a fair sweat though, so make sure you’re prepared with a breathable t-shirt and pair of shorts!
For the ultimate fitness routine, nothing beats running!
If you’re looking for a sport that provides real results, you may want to turn towards running! This cardio-based exercise will have you noticing a difference in your body after just the first few weeks, and it’s one of the best sports out there if your ultimate goal is weight loss. However, we’re not going to lie and say that it’s an easy sport from the get-go. It takes a lot of training before you can really excel! Think of it like a marathon rather than a sprint – you'll need to start out slow, with intervals of jogging then walking, probably incorporating a lot more of the latter in your routines in the first few weeks. However, once you've built up your level, there really is no feeling like it! Not only will you experience the physical benefits, but running is fantastic at boosting your mood too! When you get back home, shower and put on your loungewear, you'll be able to relax knowing you've really achieved something. What's more, running requires next to no equipment besides some lightweight clothing and a good pair of trainers! Why not check out our Running Tips for Beginners if you're interested in learning more and going the distance?
Get working out today!
So, there you have it – a rundown of our favourite exercises for beginners! With a variety of options, you're sure to find a sport that interests you. Now all that's left to do is grab your sports gear and take the first step of your fitness journey!