4 Essential Exercises for Beginners

4 Essential Exercises for Beginners

4 Essential Exercises for Beginners

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So, you’ve decided to start exercising. Good for you! The next question might be where to start. Should you take up running? Weight lifting? Kickboxing? With so many options, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. When I’m training a client who’s an exercise newbie, I like to start with exercises that are simple, accessible and effective, including these four fitness elements:

Cardiovascular endurance

Cardiovascular exercise can be performed by walking, running, and cycling, to name just a few. Cardio is so important because it strengthens the condition of your heart, which is a working muscle—like any other muscle, it needs to be trained to stay strong and functional. Cardio can also boost your metabolism, burn calories, and strengthen and tone muscles in your lower body.

Body weight resistance training

Strength training is essential, but you don’t to have to hit the weight room, which can be an intimidating endeavor for many beginners. Using your own body weight can be extremely effective in toning muscles and, especially for a beginner, less likely to cause injury. Exercises such as body weight squats, lunges and push-ups require no equipment. Another benefit of performing body weight exercises? They can be done anywhere!

Core strengthening

Think of your core muscles as the central point of your body that makes everything work harmoniously together. With a strong core, you are less likely to have pain in your lower back and hips, and balance and stability will improve. You will notice this not only in the gym, but also in your daily life. When training your core, it’s important to focus on all aspects: your abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back. There are a variety of exercises that target various parts of the abdominal muscles, like ball crunches and planks. (Here are a few sample core moves.)


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Often neglected, balance training is essential for strengthening neuromuscular coordination (the communication between your muscles and your brain). Balance exercises help increase stabilization and muscle development and strengthen your core, in turn, causing you to burn more calories. Single-leg exercises are great for improving body alignment and your body’s ability to control the muscles need to maintain balance.

(Note: Before starting an exercise program, make sure that you’re cleared by a doctor.)

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