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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beginners Work Out Tips!

We have all been there!  

Too sore to move, sit, stand, walk, breathe...... Here are some awesome tips to help you get away from the "I'm too old for this crap" walk!  See, excessive soreness is generally an indication that you either increased volume or intensity far too quickly in your exercise routine, or that you did not recover properly. That is called “DOMS,” which is short for “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness,” and it basically means soreness does not peak immediately after a workout, but rather, about 24-48 hours post-workout. DOMS that manifests in light muscle tenderness and stiff joints is completely normal, but DOMS that results in muscles that are very painful to the touch or sharp pains in the joints is not normal. In other words, if it hurts to twitch, sneeze, giggle or blink a couple of days after a workout, then you need to pay attention to what you are about to read.

Hydrate: When it comes to recovery, dehydration is one of your biggest enemies, so try to drink one 20-24oz bottle of water for each hour of exercise. Within a couple hours after a workout, your urine should be light yellow or clear. If it is dark yellow, then you are inadequately hydrated. 

Know Your Limits! Don't overdo it!   The general "rule of thumb" is to exercise 30-60 minutes a day.  But that doesn't mean to kill yourself doing it either.  You don't have to exercise so hard that you can hardly stand!  In fact, you want to do the opposite.  Going at a moderate pace for cardio and moderate weight limit when strength training is exactly how you want to go about your work out.  Taking it too easy won't get you results.  Taking it too hard can make it not so appealing to repeat the next day and be consistent, or worse, being too sore to do it even if you wanted to!  According to a recent study done by the Mayo Clinic, involving over 10,000 adults, people who walked slowly — even for up to an hour — saw no preventative benefits, while those who walked briskly or jogged cut their risk of metabolic syndrome (which includes hypertension, high blood sugar and extra weight) by nearly half. The same trend held for weight loss; people who exercised at a moderate level for 30 minutes a day lost more weight than those who slogged through hour-long sessions. So even if you don’t have time, rev up the intensity of your workouts to still reap the benefits of physical activity.  Instead of walking on that treadmill for 45 minutes at 2 mph, increase it to 3.5 mps and go for 30 minutes!  Avoid being sore by not overdoing it!  Easy enough, right?

Nutrition: Immediately after a workout, you have a maximum of about one hour to eat something. If you do not eat, you will not have enough carbohydrate energy for your next workout, you will not have enough protein to repair muscles, and you will not have enough fat for hormones and joints. Try a bowl of quinoa or brown rice with chicken, or a protein smoothie.

Blood flow: Circulation of blood in and out of a stressed body part improves speed of recovery. Techniques that can improve blood flow include cooling down after your workout with a walk or easy bike ride, performing light stretching during or after each workout, or alternating every 30-60 seconds between hot and cold running water in your post-workout shower.

Rotation: Give your muscles a chance to repair themselves after a good workout. "If women want their arms smaller, their abs smaller, or their thighs smaller, they typically will work those muscles every time they work out," says Melyssa St. Michael, a personal trainer and director of UltraFit Human Performance. But you need 72 hours to go through one metabolic cycle, which promotes healing of the tissue that was torn during your workouts. If you’re training the same muscle group every day, your body won’t have a chance to recover, slowing progress and leaving yourself open to injury. If you’re a beginner, train your full body two to three times per week. Once you can do this with NO soreness, train your upper body one day, your lower body on the second day, and take a day off on the third day. It also helps to switch off between cardio and strength training. 

In short, what I can figure out from everything that I have read is that Cardio training can be done 4-6 times a week.  Strength training should be done 2-3 times a week.  The off days of Strength training are called "rest days."   By "rest" it usually means just doing an active recovery workout such as Yoga, Pilates, or a light walk.

Click HERE for my post on Workout Schedules and to get an example of how I have set up my schedule.

Hope that this helps you keep those muscles nice and flexible instead of stiff and sore! I know that these have all helped me!  

I am on my way to becoming The Healthy Redhead!

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