Fitness Articles

New to Exercise? Things to Think About

Avoid Early Overkill

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Another area of frustration for the beginner is energy level. Most people expect to exercise the first few weeks and experience a shot of energy. In actuality, the opposite often occurs. Your body isn’t used to the added stress, which causes you to feel fatigued and even drained, especially if you overdo it. Don’t get discouraged; it’s natural to feel this way until your body adapts. As your body acclimates itself, your cardiovascular system will become more conditioned, causing you to have more energy and focus throughout the day. Your efforts will pay off.

Overexertion will trigger stiffness and soreness, causing many people to give up on exercise completely. If you do overdo it, there are a few things you can do to feel better. Exercise actually breaks your muscles down – sleep, nutrition, and hydration play a vital role in their recovery. Proper rest, refueling your body with healthy food, and drinking plenty of water will help you recover much more quickly. In the days that follow, doing a low impact exercise at a low to moderate intensity and stretching will deliver more oxygen and blood to help clean out the waste and bring more nutrients to your muscles.

Your body loses a large quantity of water when you work out, so it is very important to drink more water as you exercise. Active people should drink at least 10-12 eight-ounce cups a day, throughout the day, taking extra care to rehydrate during the workout. This will keep your joints moving fluidly and flush out the toxins that might be building up in your muscles. Headaches, stiffness, and cramping are all results of dehydration.

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About The Author

Joe Downie Joe Downie
Joe, an exercise enthusiast, is a certified physical fitness instructor and high school soccer coach.

Member Comments

  • Thanks for the reminder. I know most of this info and yet....jump right in and regret it later. GAH! - 1/6/2012 11:35:04 PM
  • MSQC2U
    Thanks for this very useful information. - 11/17/2011 11:02:25 AM
  • Thanks for the article. I had a question though. I am always reading that you must drink water during a workout but I always get what people call stitches when I drink water near to the start of a workout or during it. I often have to cut my workout short because it's s painful. Any comment or suggestion on that? - 11/5/2011 10:15:54 PM
    Thank you! I am learning some thing new everyday. - 1/7/2011 8:33:39 PM
  • Very useful information! Thank you. - 1/7/2011 6:39:00 AM
  • NJ_HOU
    Great article especially the part about fatigue not energy happening. For a novice you could also point out strech out straps (aka advanced dog leash) are great to use to keep you from hurting yourself. Also a series of these simple streching exercises can take about 30 to 45 minutes and create your entire work out as a beginner. further, you hopefully won't have all the warm up streches / cool down streches as that is the exercise you are doing. - 1/6/2011 11:09:39 AM
  • Great article - Thanks
    Take it easy at first, warm up, exercise, stretch, hysdrate..... - 1/6/2011 8:59:36 AM
  • Thank you. I am 42 and have been 'interested' in working out since my late teens. I could never stick to anything though because I was always sooooooo tired.
    I am still at that level. I only have a couple hours of energy a day. Much of that is because of my low thyroid which makes me feel sluggish, and admittedly, much of it is my food choices. I appreciated this article. It gave me a lot of insight and will certainly help me in making my decisions. I'm gonna rewrite my goals so I can 'no-doubt-about-i
    t' stick to them!
    Thanks! - 8/25/2010 12:32:06 PM
    I never heard that beginning an exercise program can lead to energy level problems. I get these (I call them "power failures"). Thank you for mentioning this. It will help me keep on track. It is both scary and frustrating to feel weak when one is trying to be stronger. Thank you very much, and please keep up the good work! - 4/6/2010 12:19:42 AM
  • I was wondering what warmups involved seeing as the stretches came afterwards. Now I know it is gentle exercise prior to the main exercise. - 3/2/2010 8:32:54 PM
  • Great article. Very helpful. - 1/4/2010 7:54:25 PM
  • LEENIE1101
    This is great to know. I was tired when I first started and thought that getting up a half hour earlier was not going to work out. - 1/4/2010 4:24:42 PM
    This article is supper' the writter is very knowlegeable and up to date. I enjoy a great article that make great sense in my daily exercise routine. Thank you - 9/21/2009 4:12:33 PM
  • Joe shared some wonderful insight in this article. Keep up the great work! - 8/7/2008 6:58:52 PM
  • IMNMN3
    I have joined Curves. I find that I really enjoy the workout. It is something that I try to do at least 4 or 5 days a week, then let my body rest. - 4/16/2008 12:39:30 PM

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