Where to Begin with a New Workout

Starting a new workout can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. A sports medicine physician gives some tips on how to ease into exercise.

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CLEVELAND – Starting a new workout can be intimidating, especially if you haven’t been to the gym in a while — but it doesn’t have to be.

Marie Schaefer, MD, sports medicine specialist for Cleveland Clinic, has some helpful tips on how to ease back into exercise.

“When someone starts a new workout regimen, I think it’s really important to set sustainable goals. You don’t want to immediately go out, if you have never run before try to go run 30 minutes because you’re not going to be successful, and when you’re not successful, that works against you mentally,” said Dr. Schaefer.

She recommends working out twice a week in the beginning and then gradually increasing your activity from there. You don’t want to burn yourself out. It’s also important to get enough rest between workouts.

So, which exercises are best for beginners?

Dr. Schaefer said it really all depends on personal preference. However, she would suggest mixing in both cardio and strength training.

And, be sure not to go too heavy on the weights. That’s a quick way to risk injury. A good alternative is switching to lower weights and higher reps.

Finally, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. She said the key is consistency.

“It’s sometimes hard to see the results you are looking for right away, and I think that goes back to the question: What are the results you are looking for?” she said. “I ultimately think when people exercise they should work towards being healthier and achieving a sustainable healthy lifestyle, but a lot of people certainly work out for weight loss and toning and those changes occur with time.”

Dr. Schaefer said if you don’t feel comfortable going to the gym, there are plenty of great work out videos online that you could do at home instead.

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