How to start your fitness journey

A new year is always a new opportunity to start your fitness journey. This can mean anything, whether you just want to get off the couch more often, want to run a 5k, or hope to win a bodybuilding competition by 2024.

You may not be sure how to achieve your goals, but that’s okay. Having the motivation to get out there is half the battle, and we want to help you on your way.

PopSci He has a number of science-backed fitness stories to guide you in this new age. You’ll learn how to get the most out of your workouts, how to secure gains safely and steadily, and how to keep your body healthy along the way.

Understand how to build muscle

Fitness newbies may think that getting strong is just about lifting heavy things over and over again. In short, it kind of is, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Muscle identification And how your body builds them will help you understand concepts like hypertrophy and failure, and allow you to get the most out of every workout.

Our guide on How to get muscle gains He will guide you through the process and explain how resting is just as important as hitting the gym, and how protein is a critical component your body needs to build more mass.

[Related: You should definitely rotate your workouts]

Dietary restrictions like vegetarianism may seem like an extra layer of difficulty when it comes to including enough protein in your diet, but getting these gains doesn’t require you to become a carnivore. If you need instructions, go to A vegan guide on how to get muscle gains And learn which foods will give you the nutrients you need to achieve your fitness goals.

Don’t forget to warm up

Whatever sport or discipline you choose, one of the most common mistakes fitness buffs make when starting a workout is skipping the warm-up. It can seem boring and pointless because you might feel like you don’t actually need it, but trust us: your body does. Warming up properly before you go for a jog or start lifting weights will help you perform better and prevent injuries in the long run, which will allow you to take your fitness journey even further.

But before you repeat the same static stretches you might remember from PE class, give it a go Try a dynamic warm-up. Not only will these exercises tell your brain it’s time to get moving — which is especially important after you’ve been sitting at a desk for a while — but they’ll also prepare your body for physical activity by increasing your blood flow and raising your heart rate.

Help your body recover

You might think that when it comes to exercise, more is better. And since you’re already excited and proud of your efforts, why not keep going? Well, giving your body time to recover is also essential to your fitness journey.

But other than resting, there are other techniques you can use Helps your muscles feel better after a hard workout. That nagging, aching pain you feel about 24 hours after your last gym session is the result of muscle damage, and recovery techniques can help you deal with the pain and help tissues recover faster.

From classic stretches to foam rollers, ice baths, and massages, our guide on what works when it comes to recovery can be exactly what you need when your muscles are so sore that getting off a chair brings excruciating pain.

Eat to win

Once you’ve been at least two months into your journey and made little progress, you may find yourself hitting a wall that makes achieving results more difficult. This is normal and happens to many people as their bodies change. To get back to this progression exercise, you may need more data about what you’re putting in your body, and Track your nutrition It can be very useful for that.

Knowing your maintenance rate — the number of calories you burn simply by existing — can give you a baseline for adjusting the number of calories you eat each day to maintain muscle growth and keep fat burning.

It’s important to know that watching your food can be a slippery slope to unhealthy habits, so make sure you only do it for short periods of time, and follow expert recommendations regarding calorie surpluses and deficits. And if you don’t know what it is, don’t worry – it’s all in our guide.

measure progress

The data not only shows you how much you’re eating but also how far you’ve come. Gathering information about your workouts will make it easier to gauge your progress, and you’ll be able to celebrate even the smallest victories so you can push yourself a little bit more.

Getting a fitness tracker can help you gather all the stats you need to keep progressing and improving — you just need to put it on and do your best. And if you don’t know which wearable to get, We have some recommendations It may lead you in the right direction.

The type of machine you get depends largely on your budget and your preferred activity, but there are plenty of options to choose from, and they can all give you the extra motivation you need to tackle another day of your fitness journey.

Try to get a little help from supplements

Supplements can help you get what your body needs to perform at its best, stay healthy and build muscle. But a quick trip to the local drugstore is enough to make anyone incredibly confused. The market is full of options, so which supplements actually work?

[Related: The three strength exercises everyone should do]

When it comes to building muscle and improving performance, science does I only found two supplements that would help. Learning how to take it and how it works for your body will help you better understand your process. Keep in mind that you may need to consult a physician before beginning to supplement your diet, and also remember that supplements do not work miracles. Moving, resting, and above all patience will keep you on a good path to achieving your fitness goals.

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