The first thing you need to realize is that you can do this.
No matter how difficult it may seem, you have it within you to be the exception.
If You’re Just Starting Out
If you’ve never worked out before, consult with your doctor first. You want to make sure you don’t have any pre-existing conditions that might be exacerbated by certain types of exercise or that you’re predisposed to any particular sort of injury or hurt.
Barring that, my advice to beginners and those worried about injuries is to start slowly. Don’t just jump right in. Your body needs time to adapt to the new stress you’re going to be putting on it and while it can adapt pretty quickly, overtaxing your body is a sure-fire way to injure yourself.
Start slow and just start moving.
Start walking. Get a Fitbit and increase the amount of steps you take on a daily basis. Because Fitbit records your steps, you have a starting point from the day before that you can try to exceed each day.
I also recommend resistance bands. Something you can exercise with in the privacy of your home. The sets usually come with bands of differing amounts of tension, as well as ankle straps , and an instruction manual with multiple exercises. They allow you to target specific muscles and body parts. As you become stronger you can increase the amount of tension by graduating to another band or using more than one band at a time.
In order to prevent injuries, you must learn how to do the exercises you’ll be doing with proper form. That’s how you reduce injuries. Pretty much for every exercise, you can find a YouTube video or an article with illustrations displaying the correct technique.
Every time I go to the gym I see beginners lifting weights improperly. They’re swinging the weight or jerking their bodies to lift the weight. Not only are they not going to get the results they want, they’re gonna end up injuring themselves in the process.
Compete With Yourself- No One Else
Let me say something right here-
How much weight you can lift, doesn’t matter.
How many reps you can do, doesn’t matter.
How much the guy next to you is lifting, doesn’t matter.
The only thing that matters is that you’re lifting with proper form and technique and that you’re doing better (either more weight or more reps) than your last workout. That’s why it’s so important to keep a record of your progress.
There have been several times over the years where I’ll significantly reduce the weight I’m using on a specific exercise, because I realize that I’m no longer lifting with proper form. Sure, I can get the weight up, but if my technique isn’t correct, then I’m either risking injury or not properly targeting the intended muscle.
And the only time I look to see what the guy next to me is doing is when he’s doing an exercise or a variation of an exercise that I haven’t tried but looks like it would be helpful.
Don’t let fear of injuring yourself keep you from exercising altogether. Like I said, start out slowly, let your body adapt, and focus on executing the exercise with proper form. If you do that, you’ll be fine.
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