A Beginner’s Guide to Working Out

A Beginner’s Guide to Working Out

Being physical therapists, one of the most common things that we see in our line of work is people coming in for injuries related to an unsuccessful workout. With that in mind, we wanted to share some advice with any of you who may be considering getting started on that summer body to ensure that the body looks as good as it can without going through unnecessary pain to get there.

Take It Easy, Champ

We get the rush. You go to your local gym and see the guy or girl next to you looks like they just walked off a Sports Illustrated cover, and you want to look like them. Just remember that every juicehead was once a scrawny optimist looking to make a change. Planet Fitness discussed the benefits of easing into it by saying, “Not only can you physically benefit from a low-intensity workout, but you might also find that it re-energizes you mentally — giving you more endurance to power through whatever else the day holds.” Nothing wrong with starting with the fifteen pound dumbbells. It’ll give you somewhere to look back on in a few months with fondness.

Be Realistic to Achieve Consistency

You’re not going to be able to workout every second of every day. For one thing, that’s not an effective strategy. On top of that, it’s going to lead to nothing but burnout and being right back to hating the gym in about a week. The official website of the United States Army (some of the toughest SOBs in the world) states that, “Consistency in working out will bring more substantial results than periodic extreme fitness routines.” If it’s good enough for the troops, it’s good enough for us! Be realistic when you set your goals, and aim for consistency rather than overnight solutions.

Consider a Workout Buddy

A workout buddy accomplishes two things. It holds you accountable to maintain your workout schedule, and it gives you a partner who can spot you when you go for the more challenging reps. The CDC suggests that, “When you work out with a partner, you’re likely to…. feel more motivated, be more adventurous, [and] be more consistent.” Try finding a friend who also wants that summer body and convince them to come along on your next visit to the gym.


Always Consider Safety First

Above all else, safety should be your number one priority at all times when working out. Remember that you are putting your body through strenuous activities that it may not be used to. You can’t expect it to be able to keep up unless you position it in a way that it can be successful. Johns Hopkins recommends that, “Some exercise safety precautions include wearing the appropriate gear and staying hydrated. Taking time to warm up and cool down allows the body to transition in and out of periods of activity safely.” 

As much as we love getting to help out our patients, we don’t want anyone to get hurt. By following these steps, you will be much better equipped to safely and effectively begin the process of installing a workout regimen into your routine.