When you’re just getting into working out, or getting back into it after a long time, it can be difficult. I’ve found 8 things that have helped me transition more smoothly that can hopefully help others achieve their fitness goals with as few setbacks and false-starts as possible.



  • Before starting any routing, Yin Yoga is where it’s at. Yin yoga consists of increasingly deep stretches you breath and ease into, held for three to five minutes. I recommend trying this free one by Travis Elliot on YouTube a couple of times a week, especially if you’re new to working out to loosen your body enough to help avoid strains and  injuries.


  • Always start a workout with stretching. Dynamic stretches are better than static stretches for warming up just before a workout. That means keeping moving while stretching rather than holding stretches in place as you would with Yin Yoga. My personal approach is a combination of both dynamic and static stretches to get ready to put in my best effort and avoid strains and other related injuries.


  • Commit to 10 minutes of exercise. Chances are you'll stay longer than that, but putting aside 10 minutes is much easier to force yourself to do than trying to motivate yourself to put a whole hour aside. If you’re anything like me, a half hour will have passed before you even know it.


  • Stay motivated: If you can, buy something new every couple of weeks. A new workout DVD, some new running sneakers, lifting gloves, a jump rope, boxing gloves, etc. This will help keep you engaged, because everyone always wants to use their new toy, right? And it gives you a better variety of things to incorporate so that you don’t get sick of always doing the same thing, but now you’ll have things to go back to once you inevitably are.


  • Get creative. If you can’t afford new workout gear, equipment or a gym membership, try these workouts at home or in a different park every week; Push-ups (body stiff and straight! Put your feet on a chair for variation. Put one leg up. Put your hands on a chair, feet on the floor, etc.); Jump squats (Drop low and reach high!); Minute long planks; Pull-ups (If you don’t have a pullup bar, monkey bars will do). Use your back and arms rather than momentum and swinging if you can). More equipment free workouts here.


  • Keep stretching! Working out too much without addressing the resulting stiffness is the leading cause of injuries, right up there with improper form! You can address the latter by working out in the mirror and paying attention to how your form looks and how your movements feel. Concentrate on using the muscle groups you're trying to target. It’s not about getting through the exercise, it’s about intentionally exercising different areas of your body consistently through a specific range of motion. Get someone who knows what they’re doing to advise you too, if you know someone.


  • It’s better to lift light if you’re not use to your workouts yet. If it’s too light you can always do more reps and/or sets. Trying to force too much weight too soon is never a good idea. Believe me. I’ve learned that the hard way too many times.

  • The simple dietary advice is pretty straightforward: don’t eat candy, processed or fried food, nor too much red meat (twice a week, never two days in a row). Drink only tea or water.  None of this is 100% of the time of course, but sticking to it 80%-90% of the week will work wonders in improving how you look and feel if you don’t do so already.




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