10 Fitness Tips For Beginners

By Raphael Calzadilla B.A., ACE, RTS1
eDietsChief Fitness Pro

The fitness pros at eDiets can show you how to combine exercise and nutrition to get the best results. This is what you’ve been looking for. You will need to make the commitment, but isn’t it time to finally take care of you? Click here to get started.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
-- Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame Baseball player in his 1996 address to the graduates of Montclair State University

I’m dedicating this article to the beginner. To the person who is mentally preparing themselves to get in shape. The individual who suddenly has realized after many years that they simply cannot continue being overweight, tired and listless with muscles that resemble a bowl of Jell-O.

You want to begin eating right and exercising, but you have absolutely no idea where to begin. You’re sort of scared. It is possible that you have never set foot in a health club and would almost rather not pursue this endeavor -- because it just seems so daunting. But, you know you must!

I’ve always taken great pleasure in training the man or woman who walks into the gym for the first time. I’ve always viewed it as a courageous, intelligent act of taking responsibility for one’s own health. I enjoy training beginners, because they get to learn things correctly from the start as opposed to re-learning ineffective habits they picked up from an infomercial.

Here are my top 10 tips for the beginner:

1. DON’T WORRY ABOUT FEAR -- Understand that it’s OK to feel somewhat unsure of yourself prior to starting an exercise and nutrition program. The psychological aspect is the first thing to accept. There will be a lot to learn concerning weight training, cardiovascular exercise and nutrition. However, recognize that as you begin the process, you will continually learn, get more comfortable and, most importantly, make progress.

2. DECIDE -- In most articles, this point is referred to as goal setting. However, I prefer "DECIDE," because I see too many people fail with goal setting. I realize it’s a play on words, but it seems to work. You’ll need to write down and DECIDE what it is you want to accomplish.

For example, you may decide you want to lose 30 pounds of body fat and gain two to three pounds of muscle. Maybe you’ll decide you want to be able to walk five miles without losing your breath, or possibly fit into that size 8 dress or 31" inch waist pants. Write it down and make it quantifiable. Just saying "I want to get in shape and lose weight" is not quantifiable. There’s no target.

3. GET A CHECKUP -- Having a physical is a wise decision, because it will help assure you’ll attain the most benefits with the least amount of risks. If you smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or are overweight, it’s doubly important. Remember, this is about starting right.

4. STRUCTURE -- You will need guidance. That’s where eDiets comes into play. Our site is marvelous for beginners. When registering, you are asked to input your goals, current activity level, health history and several other measurements. We then provide a program that matches your goal and your current fitness level.

You receive a nutrition program and complete exercise descriptions. I know what you’re thinking, "Yes, but how do I know if I’m really doing things correctly?" Don’t worry. If you ever have a question related to your program, we have a team of personal trainers and dietitians ready to assist you. You will not be left alone.

5. GET REAL -- Take a close look at your schedule and be realistic concerning how many days and how much time you can realistically devote to exercise. This is going to be long-term, so it has to be based on reality.

Too many people start working out every day and think that’s the best approach. Wrong! Maybe you only have two to three days to devote to exercise and only 45 minutes for each session. It’s the combination of efficient nutrition and exercise that will yield the greatest benefit, not simply excessive exercise. That’s a sure way to experience burn out.

6. EDUCATE YOURSELF -- You’ll need to develop an understanding of concepts such as repetitions, sets, cardio, etc. Again, we can help. When you get to the fitness program, you’ll be lead to a glossary of fitness terminology that will help get you started in the right direction. This will give you a good overall understanding of many fitness terms you may have heard in the past.

7. EAT -- Begin to get an understanding of how food affects the body. I’m not asking you to become a nutrition guru. Simply try to understand, for example, what happens to your body when you have a big bowl of pasta compared to a smaller amount of pasta combined with chicken and a small Caesar salad.

Become familiar with the affect elevated blood sugar has on storing fat. You can receive additional education on this subject matter when you join. Just email one of our dietitians or access one of the great support boards available to members. The best part? When you join eDiets, we’ll customize your nutrition based on your food preferences. It’s based on reality.

8. MOVE -- No, not geographically. Start to work out… start to move. Your weight training won’t take a lot of time as a beginner, nor will your cardiovascular exercise. You’ll focus on form, technique, precision and breathing correctly during your workout.

You’ll find the site all-encompassing and able to answer many of your questions. Not sure about a specific weight training move? Just access my "Ask The Expert" support board, and I’ll answer your question. I won’t stop providing information until you’re clear.

9. BEWARE OF MAGIC POTIONS -- Don’t get hooked into supplements that can magically reduce body fat or infomercials that sell ineffective products to get your stomach flat. Remember, these companies are just trying to make a buck, and most of them don’t provide all the information you require to make a wise decision. They prey on emotion and impulse buying. Stay far away.

10. COST EVALUATION -- It’s important to get the most effective nutrition and workout plan for your needs. In business, it’s called cost versus benefit, but I like to call it "what the heck do I get for my money?" It’s also important to get ongoing education that doesn’t require this to be a fulltime endeavor. You need quick and timely information that won’t "break the bank." Joining eFitness is a fraction of the cost of hiring a nutritionist or trainer at a health club.

I hope these 10 tips have helped. If you knew first-hand the fantastic resources we have here, you wouldn’t think twice about joining. Commit to starting your nutrition and fitness program and reap the benefits of less body fat, becoming lean and having tons of energy.

Getting fit will have a huge impact on all areas of your life! Are you ready to get in great shape? eDiets can help you get there. click here to complete a free profile and get started creating YOUR perfect body!

A drug-free competitive bodybuilder and 2005 winner of the prestigious WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation) Pro Card, Raphael Calzadilla is a veteran of the health-and-fitness industry. He specializes in a holistic approach to body transformation, nutrition programs and personal training. He earned his B.A. in communications from Southern Connecticut State University and is certified as a personal trainer with ACE and APEX. In addition, he successfully completed the RTS1 program based on biomechanics.


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