Beginner’s guide to working out, at home or in gym

 By MaryAmbrose

Walking into a gym with a bunch of experienced lifters or going for a run outside when you have never been the running type can be extremely intimidating.

The worries of people judging or staring at someone who is not exercising the proper way may lead people to be too nervous to try new workouts. In reality, there is no perfect way. All you need is a type of movement that you find joy in.

Whether it is lifting weights, biking, or jumping on a trampoline, getting your heart rate up and moving is extremely beneficial to overall health.

Infographic by MaryAmbrose

According to Physical Education teacher Beth Dye, “exercising helps with your mind and your body.” Exercising releases endorphins which increase positive feelings and emotions.

It is a great way to reduce anxiety and stress. It is also a form of self care because even if it is only for 20 minutes, it is still 20 minutes spent bettering yourself. 

“Mental and emotional health cannot be overlooked,” Dye said. Even though it can be hard to find time in a busy schedule to exercise, it is worth it. The impact on mental well-being is significant, and consistent movement can improve mental health long term. Exercise boosts energy which can improve quality of life. It also helps the quality of sleep, which is super important to mental health. 

Taking a break from studying to get some exercise can help increase productivity. For sophomore Mackenzie Reidy, “working out makes me feel more energized and I have more mental capacity to focus.” Exercising gives her a new wave of energy to efficiently complete her schoolwork. 

Physical health is also a necessity in a healthy lifestyle. Movement increases muscle strength and endurance. It is good for heart health to get your heart rate up frequently. Building muscles helps your metabolism to stay strong. Overall, exercising frequently takes care of physical health.

The hardest part about a consistent exercise routine is getting started. Once you find what you enjoy, it is much easier to be consistent. Trying a new exercise is overwhelming, so it is crucial to start small.

Dye advises girls who would like to try running to “start small, run a half mile, then a mile, and gradually increase your distance.”  Do not start too aggressively because injury is more common if you throw your body into intense activity. 

Athletes who play on formal sports teams get exercise within their sports without having to come up with their own exercises. However, when athletes stop playing on formal teams, it can be a challenge to workout on their own. Without the strict instruction of how many laps to run around a field or how many burpees to complete when they lose a game, it is hard to stay motivated to stay in shape.

That is why recreational sports are a great way to stay in shape. Join a recreational soccer league or an intramural sports team. 

Even if you have never participated in a formal sports team, joining a club or activity that involves exercising with a group can be a good idea. There are group workouts and clubs at Marian such as running club that can be a strong source of motivation. In running club, everyone sets a goal for themselves and holds each other accountable. They participate in fun events such as Turkey Trots and Candy Cane Runs to make running more enjoyable.  

However, running is not the only option. Lifting weights is a great option, and you can participate in them easily. For example, all you need are some dumbbells to get a good workout in. If you need guidance on how to use the dumbbells, there are several resources. Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest can be valid sources for finding workout ideas. Accounts such as @katieyovin provide instruction for workouts and specific guidance on how to do each movement. Pinterest has several different posts that lay out plenty of possible workouts.

Though exercising can be nerve racking for beginners, persevere to find something you enjoy.

Any movement is better than none. Start gradually and slowly increase. Join groups or at least find a workout partner to make exercise more fun! 

There are so many possibilities, so do not be discouraged if you struggle at first.

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