Love, Love Body

7 Things You Should Know When Starting a Workout Routine

1. Know exactly what your goal is.

Do you want to lose weight, cut extra fat in the belly, have slimmer thighs, or just simply want to tone up your muscles? Setting a goal plays a crucial part in helping you devise a suitable gym routine. This helps you choose the kinds of exercises and machines that are most effective for you.

2. Take a look at your timetable.

The next thing you need to know is the frequency of your routine. If you’re an absolute rookie to this kind of exercise, you might want to start off with 3 days a week for the first month and then gradually go up to 4 or 5 days a week. The important thing is to follow your regimen; don’t skip your gym days! Also, always allow time for your muscles to recover after a day of exercise. Don’t exercise too much or too rapidly; this might cause you injuries.

3. Choose a proper meal plan.

Diet and exercise are two things that go together. If you only hit the gym but don’t pay attention to what you eat every day, chances are your body will either stay the same or change toward a negative way. You should remember to eat plenty of lean meat (boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a good choice) for protein  — which allows muscle growth  — green leafy vegetables, eggs, a variety of fruits, and moderate amounts of carbohydrates (preferably whole wheat bread, whole grains, legumes, brown rice). Avoid alcohol and caffeinated products (such as coffee or Coke).

4. Prepare to keep yourself motivated.

Hitting up the gym might be hard on a number of days; therefore, it’s absolutely important to be motivated. Remember what your goals are, ask a friend to join you with your gym sessions, or simply bring your iPod or any kind of music player to enjoy your jam and lose weight at the same time!

5. The treadmill is ­not the only machine in the gym.

A beginner’s mistake is usually jumping on the treadmill and occupying it for at least an hour and then going home. Although this can be effective for those who want to get rid of a few extra pounds, it doesn’t really help those who want to tone up their body or get those killer curves. The best way is to combine a variety of exercises depending on the muscles that you want to develop or tone up.

6. Level up your exercises.

Don’t just do the same sets over and over again! As your workout progresses, you might want to increase the intensity of your exercises — such as the number of reps, adding more weight, or adding in high intensity sprinting to your normal running cardio time. This helps you achieve your desired goals more effectively and gives you that extra boost of motivation when trying something new.

7. Never rush the process.

It usually takes time (at least three months) to see the noticeable changes that your gym routine brings to your body. Therefore, don’t rush anything. Be patient and keep up your hard work along with a proper diet. Remember that this is your gym routine, so it might be different from others’. As long as it’s effective on you, never mind what other people think and just let your routine do the job!