Tips for working out

Published 9:29pm Monday, January 3, 2011

Perhaps no New Year’s resolution is as common as resolving to get in shape. After a holiday season filled with treats and social gatherings, it’s no surprise many people hope to shed a few pounds once the season has come and gone.

With exercise on the minds of many, it’s a good time to go over a few pointers to ensure that the next trip to the gym does not end in injury:

  • Be careful of “no pain, no gain.” Many beginners feel their workout isn’t working if it’s not hurting. While mild pain is to be expected, it’s up to the individual to determine if the pain is indicative of something bigger.
  • Know your limits. Beginners need to be especially aware of their exercise limits. Initially, they shouldn’t attempt to do exercises their bodies can’t handle. Lifting too much weight is common for beginners.
  • Work with a trainer. Personal trainers can help beginners immensely. Trainers can teach beginners how to use machines and stretch properly and can answer any questions beginners commonly have.
  • Fewer repetitions, more sets. A common mistake when beginning an exercise regimen is to dive right in without really knowing the ins and outs of a routine. Instead of doing four sets of 10 reps, do five sets of eight reps.

This might seem too small to make a difference, but beginners often tire near the end of a set, and doing fewer reps per set can help them avoid fatigue and make the most of each repetition and set.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink water throughout an exercise regimen to remain hydrated. Maintaining proper fluid levels helps avoid cramping and dehydration, which can bring their own batch of painful side effects, including nausea and heart palpitations.
  • Those who workout in the early morning, be sure to drink water before working out to overcome any dehydration that may have occurred while asleep.
  • When working out after work, be sure to drink water throughout the day so the body is fully hydrated when the time comes to hit the gym.

Editor's Picks