Workout essentials

Great Workouts for Exercise Beginners

I remember how overwhelmed I felt when I first started to exercise. I was never into sports, so my experience with physical activity only went as far as ballet lessons. After my first trip to the gym, I quickly realized that not all exercises are created equal for those just starting out. I tried several different types at the beginning, but most of them I quit after a while—at least until I became more comfortable in the gym. The ones I did stick to though, are, in my personal opinion, the best for beginners.

Yoga

All of the advanced twists and bends can be a bit frightening for first timers, but the classes specifically designed for beginners don’t involve those poses. Yoga is a restorative exercise meant to help students become aware of their bodies and minds, and this is exactly what newbies need to learn. The pace of a yoga is slow; it allows time to find what’s comfortable. I was drawn to the practice at because I didn’t like the burn or breathlessness of cardio, and there was none of that to be found in yoga. It helped me build strength, flexibility, and even allowed me space to de-stress after long days.

Walking

I love to walk. Even after becoming an avid runner a year ago, I still dedicate one or two days a week to a simple, relaxing power walk. At the beginning of my fitness journey I thought that I had to run. I thought it was the only way to reach my fitness goals, but I was wrong. Running is really hard for those that aren’t used to cardiovascular activity. Walking, however, is something we can all do. It still burns calories, you’re still working the same muscle groups, and you’re still working your heart. This was the best way for me to ease into running, and it can still be quite the workout if you walk fast enough. I’ve even had some sore muscles from a long walk.

Body Weight Exercises

The weight racks and rows of machines are incredibly intimidating to those who have never lifted a weight. A great way to increase strength and build up to lifting weights is to use your own body weight in various exercises. Lunges, squats, push ups, sit ups, planks, and whole host of other exercises can be done simply with your own weight. They can also leave you just as sore as lifting dumbbells. 

Zumba

This Latin music-inspired dance class is a great option for anyone looking to be healthier. Zumba doesn’t require any dance experience, and it feels more like a fun night at the club than it does a workout. You can sing, shimmy, and shake all you want at your own pace. If you don’t want to move as fast as the teacher, then you don’t have to. If you can’t kick your leg as high as the woman next to you, no big deal. Zumba is about having fun while moving your body, so it’s an excellent option for those that want to learn to love exercise.