Blog - Beginning Exercise

By The Haven Team: 08 Apr 2015

Whether you are recovering from illness, exercising for the first time or getting back into exercise after a break, exercising can be tough.

Sometimes it may hurt you to move or you may hurt afterwards. This can make you question whether exercise is indeed working for you; you may feel discouraged or simply give up.

Exercise is an important part of health. Just make sure it’s the right kind and the right amount for you at this time. Here are 7 tips to get you started (or restarted!)

  1. Start slowly. Your body will respond best to a gentle approach. Go for brisk walks, swim for 10 min’s in the pool or begin with a 15 min easy routine in the gym. Depending on how that feels you can pull back a little or increase a little for the next time. You should feel invigorated, perhaps tired and maybe a little achy as you begin to use your muscular system, your lungs and your heart again.
  2. Breathe. Breath is the ‘oil to your mechanics’ it fuels your body for movement. Enjoy deep relaxing breaths as you move. Breath is a good guide. If it becomes ragged or challenged, it’s your marker to slow down or stop until the breath recovers.
  3. Believe in your ability to improve. Your strength and agility will quickly increase if you take a moderate pace and listen to your body.
  4. Trust yourself. As you befriend your body, you will notice which exercise leaves you feeling better and which does not. Keep doing that which makes you feel well.
  5. Monitor your progress. Keep extending your exercise slowly according to what your body can do. So five minutes becomes 7 minutes the following week or 5 repetitions become 7 repetitions. Listen inside to what your body can do and never force or strain to reach a target, rather let go and thank yourself for all you have done.
  6. Warm your muscles. Exercise in a comfortably warm room or wrap up well for walks. Wear layers so that you can adjust your temperature as it goes up and down. Keep moving in swimming pools and make sure your muscles are warm before stretching them out.
  7. Drink water. Have some water with you and drink during your exercise routine. If in the pool have water before getting in and directly afterwards. Our body's need water to hydrate. If your muscles are aching excessively it may mean that you are dehydrated. There is no fixed amount that’s best for all, and it depends on fitness levels and how much exercise you do but as a guide make sure you have around a litre when you are starting out.