For years that I’ve worked out and tried to be fitter, I may have read a dozen or more articles from losing weight, gaining muscles, eating right to packing sick abs – every ladies’ favorite, I should say. I’m far from being an expert but I got a couple of tips and tricks I picked along the way. So now I’m writing this blog post, in hope of helping beginners out there to finally get their fitness journey started, because as they say, sucking it up now is better than sucking it in later.
A lot of people underestimate the power of drinking enough water. Some would heavily rely on soda or juices to quench their thirst – don’t they know these would only make them thirstier? Water gives you better skin and a cleaner body by making you pee those toxins away, to name a few benefits. There was a time a college mate noticed how I always drink water. She said she preferred drinking soda because water is tasteless. I was flabbergasted and disappointed at the same time. How could you neglect one of the basic necessities that make you alive? Kids, don’t tolerate such nonsense. Drink your water.
Strive to be active daily even in small ways
Take the stairs instead of the escalator, walk instead of taking the tricycle, ditch channel surfing and jog outside – those are the small things we often take for granted but actually help us in the long run. Plus, it’ll help you think clearer. Would’t you want a sound mind?
It’s one of the basic things you can do for your brain and your body. It may sound cliche but it’s true. Lacking enough rest takes a toll on our performance and on our attitude. A restless lady is a cranky lady. Hit the pillows early instead of spending one more hour tweeting about the details of your day – no one would be that interested at 1 a.m. anyway.
Fitness is 30% exercise, 70% nutrition
Working out consumes 4% of your day, why would’t you have the time to do so? Also, I have ditched the reasoning of not having enough time to exercise, because it’s all in your head. Why would you have time to binge-watch for 2 hours and not have time to sweat for 20 minutes? Losing a few pounds in a week also doesn’t entail allowing yourself to pig out during the weekends. If you really want to lose weight, take your nutrition seriously. Losing weight is easy, keeping it off is the hard part. You have to inject as much discipline as you can in your system, or your efforts will just go to waste. Exercising consumes only a small part of your day, while eating consumes more, so you have to pay extra attention to the latter.
Read your articles
It’s important to keep updated with latest fitness developments and whatnot, and I guess it’s also human nature to never stop learning too. Don’t neglect those health tips 101 you tita’s tag you in on Facebook. Also make sure it’s safe to do what you’re planning to, before actually doing it. Safety first, kids. If you’re unsure, better watch YouTube videos from the pro’s, Google some articles, and even ask a friend, if you know someone who knows enough about that certain field.
Know your reps and sets
Fitness jargon may be a little bit confusing especially if you’re a beginner, so it helps knowing the basics. When you workout you do sets. Sets are a group of reps. Say you are doing sit ups. You want to do 3 sets of ten reps. So you do 10 sit ups (ten reps). That’s one set.
Don’t do what you don’t know (yet)
Years ago, when I finally decided to get on my tush and work out, I Googled for a beginner’s programs where there were a few rules written by the author, and one of them stuck to me. Don’t do your own routine, unless you’re a certified trainer and you know what you’re talking about. Leave the program planning to the experts and don’t even attempt to tweak it or rearrange the exercises because they were arranged that way for a reason, one of which is for you not to mess with them.
From a personal perspective, this method is tried and tested in making you shed pounds. It’s called High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, a mix of cardio and lifting. Yes, lifting. Do you honestly think those killer bodies that can sport the tiniest of dresses and wear anything but still look good looked that good by eating celery sticks and brisk walking 30 minutes a day? No, they lifted. Let’s not go far. Anne Curtis is one of my fitspirations. Have you seen those killer abs and strong legs? She’s a she-beast in training, and no way she built and maintained that figure by sitting all day and lifting 3-pounders.
Other celebrities that have killer bods from lifting and training hard: Ina Raymundo, Coleen Garcia, Aubrey Miles.
Back to HIIT though, I say it’s legit because I’ve done it before. I shed a lot of pounds, I looked good, and felt light. But here’s a better news, I was not the only one. Millions had done it before me. It’s not a surprise if you will reap the same result too some day, if you start today.
Cardio burns calories only while you do it. As soon as you jump off the elliptical machine or the treadmill or whatever you’re jumping off from, you’re body will also stop turning the wheels. But if you lift, you burn more calories even after you’re done working out, and even while you’re resting. Cardio is an everyday kind of thing, you’d sweat, but you won’t get sore, which is fine if you just want to get those muscles moving, but that wouldn’t be the case if you want more stable results in the long run. Combining cardio and lifting will both benefit your heart, your physique, and your strength. It wasn’t my intention but since I’ve starting strength training, my body slowly sculpted, it gave me an arched lower back, giving an illusion that I have a bigger tush, it toned my back, gave me that superwoman physique, and made me look twice in the mirror more than I have in my entire life – but that’s only to name a few.
If you want to invest your time in working out to get great results, HIIT is your best friend. But if you want me to be more specific, hitting your glutes and abs is a plus to losing weight. Your glutes is a mean fats shedder, working on it means losing double the pounds because you’re exerting double the effort. While working on your abs allows you to have better core control or overall body balance.
Here are a few exercises you can do for cardio, outdoors or at home:
- Jumping Jacks
- Jump ropes
- Running/ running in place
For HIIT, you basically focus on strength training and then do cardio in between. M – Strength, T – Cardio, W – Strength, TH – Cardio, F – Strength. If you want to workout only thrice or twice a week, I suggest you do HIIT on M’s, W’s, F’s with a Cardio-Strength-Cardio combination. Jog or walk for 10 to 15 minutes, do strength training for about 20 to 30 minutes, and finish off again with cardio. That’s for Monday. Repeat on Wednesday and Friday. For working out not to seem like work, find activities that are fun for you, something you actually enjoy and one where you wouldn’t have to drag your butt and do the exercises with half the effort that you should exert.
I too get drained from working out too often, as much as I claim that I’m a fitness rat, so here are a few baby exercises I’ve done in the past, just so I can say I did something.
- 1,000 jump ropes
- abs workout
- butt workout
1 minute plank
30 bicycle crunches
30 second side planks (each side)
20 mountain climbers
20 toe taps
Legs, Butt Combo
40 calf raises
:50 wall sit
100 jumping jacks
:50 wall sit
20 sumo squats
Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of exercises to see for myself where I could get the best results, since I refuse to consult a physical trainer and I prefer studying things first before asking. To check on my strength, I do push-ups. It’s important to know where you’ve last been, or what was your progress last time, to know how fast or slow you’re doing. I do 30 push ups, with 3 sets of 10 reps.
There a lot more I want to share but I know this blog post is getting a bit too lengthy for anyone’s liking. I will leave it to this and will just post succeeding fitness blogs in chops. I hope this helped you (even a bit) because it honestly means a lot to me to share what I know about something I’m passionate about, fitness being one of them.
Hopefully, this will set as your baby guide to working out and finally get moving. Should you have any questions, clarifications, or even violent reactions, don’t hesitate to hit me up. I’m always up for talking about fitness.
Thanks for reading!