Physical Fitness for beginners: Guidelines to exercise for first timers!

Physical Fitness for beginners: Guidelines to exercise for first timers!

The awareness regarding benefits of regular exercise is increasing day by day. More and more people want to be fit and get in better shape. By looking at celebrities, sports persons, bloggers, youtubers, people get motivated, they decide to follow exercise routines, diet plans, etc etc. A percentage of gym goers are also exercising under peer or family pressure.People plan to start exercising to getAesthetic benefits: for better looks, to look slimmer, to get a zero figure, to have muscle bulks, eight packs.
Fitness and health benefits: recommended by doctors or physiotherapists, or medical professionals as preventive or curative measure to avoid future health problems or manage known medical conditions like diabetes or heart conditions.

Credits: Openfit

Whatever may be the underlying reason for you to start exercising; we assure you that you are on the right track. For example, we cannot just get a car and start driving it on the highway full speed, first we need to know some basic mechanics of the car, traffic rules, how to shift the gears. Initially we start driving it in our neighborhood, get comfortable, get a driving license, master the skill of driving and then take the car on the highway.  Similarly, when one decides to exercise things have to go through a proper channel. This gives better results and reduces the chances of any injuries related to exercise. 


A physiotherapist can be an ideal person to guide you in this beginner phase of exercise. We can act as a bridge between no exercise to gym or sport. Nowadays, there is a huge pool of exercise videos for different forms (aerobics, pilates, zumba, yoga etc) available online to do at home, workplace, gym, fitness centre…literally anywhere. But it is very important to see if these exercises suit you or not. People with known medical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, breathing disorders, diabetes, severe obesity should be more cautious when they start exercising for the first time. When one starts exercising, all the body systems are pushed out the comfort zone and are under stress. This stress has to be in the right amount or else it can cause problems. These problems or injuries can be temporary or may have permanent effects. For example, if a person runs 5km for the first time without any practice, he will get muscle soreness which can last of 2-3 days. If his technique is wrong, or his muscles are not strong and flexible, he can get a muscle pull which can last for 2-3 weeks. And if this person is middle aged obese person with no adequate muscle strength, he may also damage the knee structures which can have a lifetime negative impact.
The concept of ‘no pain no gain’ is not always true. Training smart and optimal is the key to an injury free training in the clinic or gym or fitness centre or ground or pool. A lot of people lose their tempo and enthusiasm and drop out, which we don’t want and thus here are few tips which should be followed by a new fitness enthusiast:
Go slow: like dosage of any medicine is important. If it is too less it is not effective, if it is too much it can have side effects. Similarly exercise has to be done in a correct dosage. Frequency of exercise, Intensity of exercise, time or duration of exercise and type of exercise: all play a crucial role. ‘Slow and steady wins the race’ is one of the most widely used phrase and it fits well for a beginner. Slowly and gradually progressing the exercise routine is the right way. Do not start doing any vigorous exercise routines on day one as they can be harmful. According to WHO, each individual within the age range of 18 to 64 years should do 150 minutes of moderate intensity of physical activity in a week.
Learn the right technique: theexercise will be beneficial only if it is done properly. Having a proper posture and technique is important to strengthen or stretch the right muscles. When the posture and technique of the exercise is right then only the stress on body systems is effective. For example: if you are stretching the calf muscles the knee has to be straight to get the correct amount of stretch. Similarly one should not bend forward or arch the back beyond a point while squatting, otherwise you lose the purpose of the exercise. A physiotherapist can guide you regarding the right posture, right technique and right intensity of exercise.
Balanced exercise workout:  like balanced diet is critical, similarly a balanced workout is important. You might be exercising for fun or for fitness or feel good feeling, doing a proper warm-up before the exercise and cool-down after the exercise routine is mandatory. All muscles and body systems should get targeted. A perfect tasting dish has the right balance of all ingredients. This correct balance of flavors makes it worth eating, likewise a weekly exercise chart should have proper mixture of strength training, cardio endurance training, flexibility exercises and balance training.  
Adequate rest periods: No one wants to lose the tempo andstop exercising when you start enjoying it. But taking rest periods in between exercises and off days is important for proper recovery. Overtraining can increase the risk of injuries. When we say rest, people think of not doing anything and just lying down in bed or watching television. But that is not the only option. Rest can be active: where you can just for a walk or for a swim or small cycle ride. Doing low intensity, less vigorous exercise can also be included as a recovery routine. Water breaks between two exercise sets is also equally important. We have to put stress on the body, but also give time for the body to recover.
There is no short cut: We come across so many ads and videos which advertise and promote fast fat loss or fast weight loss or get 8 packs in X number of days etc etc. The underlying body structure and functioning is same for everyone, but every individual is different. But it needs tremendous hard work, patience and dedication. With proper guidance, everyone can become muscular as a body builder or slim as a TV actor, but each and every person will require different time to reach that goal. It cannot be happen overnight. It is a slow gradual process like molding a pot from clay.

We at REHAB STATION are a team of expert physiotherapists who can guide you to get fitter and healthier. We conduct thorough musculoskeletal assessments at our clinic, which can help identify you strengths and weak points. Based on the assessments, we design individualized goal directed exercise plans which can be very good starting point in your fitness regime. We also teach you the right way to do the exercise, how to use the right muscles, correct your posture and technique in order to prevent injuries and improve your performance.  

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