Fitness Tips

How Often Should You Workout As A Beginner?

How Often Should You Workout As A Beginner?

If you’ve never worked out or had a regular program of exercise, it’s difficult to judge how intense, how long and how often to workout as a beginner. It’s one reason working with a personal trainer is so popular, especially when you’re also trying to learn the proper form for each exercise, while building a workout that provides all types of fitness and works all parts of the body. One question is relatively simple to answer. How much time do you spend exercising?

The amount of time spent depends on intensity.

You need between 75 minutes and 150 minutes of intense exercise or 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate exercise. If you can only gasp out a few words while working out, and not talk, the exercise is probably intense. Most beginners should do moderate workouts initially, especially when learning new exercises. Setting the pace to moderate gives you time to focus more on form, which is necessary as a beginner.

Use off days for active recovery.

Since most beginners will be doing between 150 and 300 minutes, you can divide that time between the gym and active recovery, which includes cardio. The 150 to 300 minutes could be divided into three days at the gym, with walking, cycling, swimming or running between those days. You could also add dancing one day a week, or another type of active sport you enjoy. Even hula hooping with the kids is great exercise.

Get in all types of exercise.

Make sure you begin every workout with a warm-up and have balance, flexibility, cardio and strength training each week. Some people focus on strength training one day a week, while others include it twice a week. Whichever you do, make sure you have from 24 to 72 hours of rest between sessions to give your muscles a chance to heal. When you do strength training, you cause microtears and the healing process is what builds muscles. Doing strength training too often can actually cause muscle loss.

  • Clock your minutes doing extra walking if you have time constrictions. Park further from the store, take the stairs or walk to a location that’s closer, rather than drive. For family fun, don’t get out a video, but go to the park, zoo or woods for a picnic and a walk.
  • When you first start working out, don’t overdo it. Injuries and sore muscles can set you back. You’ll be better off sticking closer to the 150 minutes than reaching for the 300, then increase it as you get fitter.
  • Don’t get discouraged or try to force instant change. It took a while to get out of shape, so it will take just as long to see real change occurring. Focus on how you feel at each workout and how much easier it gets after a few weeks.
  • Get variety at every workout. Include flexibility and balance training at each session or add stretches to your morning routine. Include cardio three days a week and strength training once or twice a week.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

The Best Running Shoes For Sprinting

The Best Running Shoes For Sprinting

If getting into shape was one of your 2023 resolutions, you may be one of the hundreds now jogging, sprinting or running in Irvine, CA. Not all running shoes are the same. Walking shoes differ from shoes you use for jogging and those you use for sprinting. Sprinting has explosive movements for a shorter period. It helps burn fat, while building the legs and abs. Because it’s high intensity for a short period, it is a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout, since the intensity volleys between high intensity and a recovery pace.

Sprinting requires lighter footwear, since the goal is to get from start to finish the fastest.

Over 40 years of studies show that the lighter the weight of the shoe, the faster you’ll run. One specific recent study showed that for every 3.5 ounces added to the running shoe, the performance decreased and made the runner about 1% slower. However, if your goal is to burn calories and get into shape rather than competition, there are many reasons to avoid a lightweight shoe.

When is a lightweight shoe not recommended?

If you’ve suffered from foot injuries previously, you might not want a lightweight shoe for sprinting. Heavier shoes with a firmer insole add weight, but also absorb shock better, making them good for older individuals and those with joint problems. Generally speaking, wearing heavier running shoes offers better support and can prevent injuries, such as Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. Studies show that having heavier, but more cushioned shoes can be the best option for those who have had previous injuries to the foot and joints.

Getting traction is important.

When you’re sprinting, your heels are most often in the air, with just the balls of the feet doing most of the work. Spikes encourage good traction, so you use the power of the legs more efficiently. Its design allows the sprinter to get more push with each step. Spikes can either be made of plastic or hard rubber and fit under the front of the foot. Its very design forces the runner onto the balls of the feet. Spikes can be used on asphalt, gravel and dirt, but avoid using them on concrete.

  • Lighter weight shoes wear out faster. The rule of thumb is to change shoes every 300 to 400 miles, but with lighter weight shoes, you should change them every 200 miles. Instead of three months of use, you might need to replace them in a little over a month.
  • Some people opt for two pairs of shoes, heavier ones for training and lighter ones for racing. You do have to make sure that the designs are similar to avoid affecting your gait.
  • Where you’ll be sprinting makes a difference. If you’re running on trails, you want one with a rock shield to protect the foot, but those running on hot asphalt need to maximize airflow to cool the foot.
  • Stick with a shoe that feels comfortable, but still provides stability. It’s especially important if you’re exercising for fitness, not to actually race. If you need extra cushioning, get shoes that provide it and you’ll be more apt to stick with your exercise program.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

What You Need To Bring On A Hike?

What You Need To Bring On A Hike?

With all the noise and nerve racking urgency of living in the big city, it’s nice to get back to nature and go on a hike. Hikes can vary from a short day in a nearby wooded area to traveling to a remote location that takes several days to reach. What you bring on a hike will vary by location, the amount of time you spend and the weather in that location. You also need to know how remote the location is and whether there is any type of access to cell networks or supplies along the way.

There are some essentials you need for every hike, even for day trips.

Even if you aren’t planning on staying out after dark, have a headlamp with extra batteries, just in case. If the area is sunny, have sunscreen, sunglasses and clothing to protect you from the sun. A change of clothing and first aid kit are also important. Take a GPS device and personal locator beacon, a map and compass.

The deeper into the woods you go, the longer the hike and the worse the weather, the more you take.

If your hike is longer than an afternoon or expecting more radical weather changes or inclement weather, you need more clothing, more food, more water and definitely shelter. Pack at least two days of extra food and water beyond what you expect to use. It can make the difference between surviving if there’s a sudden change in weather or an injury Energy bars, nuts and jerky are good options. They’re lightweight and don’t require cooking.

Having adequate water is important.

Dehydration can be a problem, especially in higher temperatures and on rougher terrain, where your body works harder. However, water is extremely heavy to carry, so you have a conundrum if your trip is relatively long. If you’ve planned ahead and are hiking along a known trail, you already know whether there are fountains to refill bottles on the way. Have a collapsible cup and a way to treat water, either straws or tablets, or by boiling, which requires a stove and container for storage.

  • A lot of things can cause a need for a change of clothes, even for day trips. If the weather suddenly turns cold and wet, you want lightweight layering that’s insulated and waterproof. Extra socks, gloves, and underwear shouldn’t be neglected, either.
  • An emergency shelter doesn’t have to take up a lot of space. It can be an ultralight tarp, space blanket or a large trash bag. Lightweight ivy sacks can cost under $10 and weigh about 4 ounces.
  • Making sure you have a method of starting a fire is important. Take matches or lighters in a waterproof container. There are fire-starting kits available that are lightweight and easy to use.
  • Taking repair supplies, like duct tape, zip ties, safety pins and cordage is also important. A portable cell phone charger can also be an important addition to your gear. As an extra precaution, always give someone an itinerary of your hike.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness