Fitness Tips for Beginner Athletes

Take the first step

You may not be able to become a superstar athlete. But you can still set a great fitness goal for yourself, even if you have never tried any sport before. Examples of fitness goals can be a century of riding (riding a 100-mile motorcycle in less than a day). Or you can train for triathlon (a series of three endurance events, often swimming, cycling and running) or join a sports league.

Get out of your comfort zone

First, consider the possibilities. There are so many types it's hard to say. Really hard and want to train something outside of your comfort zone? Check out race events like Warrior Dash and Tough Mother. They are rugged obstacle courses where you crawl through mud and water, scale walls and tunnels.

Start with small goals

You may have a big goal that you want to achieve one day, like a marathon. The best way to get there is to set a set of small goals that will lead you to your larger goal. For example, before signing up for a marathon, set goals for the first few 6K races. And before that, work up to a mile. Fitness apps can help you keep track of every single great thing on the way to your big goal.

Mix things up

You may get bored doing the same exercise every day. And after doing the same activity all the time for 5 to 9 weeks, your muscles adjust accordingly. You burn fewer calories and build less muscle. Try interval training: increase your pace for a minute, then slow down, and repeat. Try strength training and cardio activities such as swimming, indoor cycling, and kickboxing.

Eat and drink for fuel

Exercise burns extra calories and boosts your metabolism. So eat every two hours - healthy snacks in addition to three meals. Before exercise, have breakfast on carbohydrates (juice, fruit, or yogurt) for high energy. After a long, strenuous workout, fill up with a crab / protein mix, such as a peanut butter sandwich or smoothie. Otherwise, keep your meals and snacks light: try an apple and peanut butter, yogurt and nuts, or an egg on whole wheat toast.

Drink plenty of water

Unless your workout is really long or hard, you don't need a special sports drink with electrolytes. Water works just fine. Drinking coffee: If you are dehydrated, you may have muscle aches, and you increase your risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Drink about 2 to 3 cups of water two hours before exercising. During your routine, drink about 1 cup every 10-20 minutes. Keep drinking even after exercising.

Training strength

Even if your goal - a marathon for example - can be focused on cardio, you should also practice strength or resistance training. Stronger muscles burn more calories, help prevent injuries, and build stronger bones. Work the muscles on weight machines, by doing exercises like hand-held equipment such as free weights, kettle bells, or resistance bands, or push ups. Rest each muscle group, such as the biceps and triceps, for at least 2 days between strenuous workouts.

Comfortable clothes

You need the right clothes and shoes when you exercise. It's not about feeling good (though it doesn't hurt) - it's about feeling comfortable. If you have flared sleeves or weak shoes, there is no fun in walking, running or riding a motorcycle. Ask a sports goods store specialist for help. Look for clothing that removes moisture from your body - not sweat-absorbing cotton. In colder climates, wear layers that you can peel off as you warm up.

Learn the proper form

Whether you're running or weightlifting, it's easy to get hurt if your shape or technique is wrong. Don't assume that you are exercising properly, especially if your routine is bothering you. If you have trainers or fitness staff at your gym, they can watch your workout and give you advice on how to improve your technique. Or you can read fitness magazines or find videos online that show the right techniques.