Top three tips for be­gin­ners to start an ex­er­cise pro­gram

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Michael Der­man­sky

You want to get fit­ter and stronger, but how do you take the first step. The typ­i­cal ap­proach is all or noth­ing which never lasts. Some­times this leads to in­jury so un­for­tu­nately you do not achieve the re­sults you de­sire.

What are the first steps in start­ing a new ex­er­cise pro­gram?

Here are my top three tips to get your ex­er­cise pro­gram started cor­rectly:


No mat­ter what your goal is the best way to com­mence is with ex­er­cises, such as run­ning, cy­cling or walk­ing that will make your body stronger. Lack of strength in the ma­jor pos­tural mus­cles is a main lim­it­ing fac­tor to bet­ter per­for­mance.

The five im­por­tant mus­cle ar­eas are:

i). The core sta­bilis­ers, are deep sta­bil­is­ing mus­cles that sup­port the spine and pelvis. The main deep sta­bil­is­ing mus­cles are the transver­sus ab­do­mi­nis, pelvic floor, deep mul­ti­fidus and di­aphragm.

ii). The gluteal mus­cles, which are a group of three mus­cles that make up the but­tocks.

iii). The quadri­ceps, which are the mus­cle group that in­cludes the four mus­cles on the front of the thigh.

iv). The shoul­der blade sta­bilis­ers, or scapu­lar sta­bilis­ers help your shoul­der’s ro­ta­tor cuff mus­cles to sta­bilise the shoul­der joint while in mo­tion.

v). The calf mus­cles, are a mus­cle group con­sist­ing of two mus­cles at the back of the leg and lower back leg.

These are very im­por­tant mus­cle groups to start to strengthen. Weak­ness in these ar­eas can lead to in­jury if not strength­ened.

This should be the fo­cus of the first six to seven weeks of your ex­er­cise pro­gram. Your plan should con­sist of five strength­en­ing ex­er­cises per ses­sion fo­cussing on the main pos­tural mus­cles listed above.


Once you have de­vel­oped ba­sic strength start your car­dio grad­u­ally. Work at mod­er­ate in­ten­sity and build up to a higher in­ten­sity as your body adapts. At the start of your new ex­er­cise pro­gram you may be able to jog for only ten min­utes. That’s okay, as you get used to the ac­tiv­ity you will be able to do more with less ef­fort. Be pa­tient, it will hap­pen. Con­tinue your strength train­ing 2-3 times a week to main­tain strength and con­tinue to achieve the most from your car­dio train­ing.


Rest is one of the most im­por­tant parts of your pro­gram. Your mus­cles grow and adapt when you rest, not when you ex­er­cise. Lack of rest means that you slow your progress down and are more likely to sus­tain an in­jury. But, ac­tive rest is okay. You can walk

on your rest days but do not ex­er­cise at a high-in­ten­sity train­ing level.

My best rec­om­men­da­tion is to carry out strength­en­ing ex­er­cises 2-3 times a week, car­dio train­ing twice a week with rest­ing on the re­main­ing cou­ple of days for a great out­come. You’ll be sur­prised how fast the time flies. This rou­tine will be­come a reg­u­lar part of your life.

The great news is that when you put the work in the re­sults will come and you’ll be sur­prised how fast you will achieve your re­sults and how much eas­ier ev­ery­day life can be.

Michael Der­man­sky is a Se­nior Phys­io­ther­a­pist and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of MD Health Pi­lates, with 17 years’ experience of treat­ing clients from all walks of life, from six-year-old chil­dren all the way to the age of 92. He can be con­tacted through his web­site.


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