9 tips to start making sports
Getting into exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health, whether you’re 20, 30, 40, 50 or older.
Very quickly, you will be able to feel the benefits that physical activity can have on your body, your figure and your well-being.
In this article, I will therefore guide you by giving you 9 tips for getting into sport. You can adapt them according to your goals, your schedule and your preferences.
How to get into sport?
To get into the sport, you need to know where to start. By following the right advice, you will succeed in exercising and stick to it.
Indeed, sport should not rhyme with suffering, but above all with pleasure and results.
For this, there is a method, and it is the one that I present to you here.
1) Check your health
Ask your doctor if certain activities are not recommended for you, depending on your state of health.
Generally, the sport is recommended at any age. Plus, the benefits are even greater if you’ve never made one.
If you have chronic pain or injuries, you can take the opportunity to start exercises aimed at healing them.
There are many exercises you can do at home to strengthen your muscles and relieve your pain.
You can use my different exercise programs, depending on your pain, or consult a physiotherapist.
2) Which sport to choose?
The most recommended activities when you start physical activity are classified into 2 categories:
- Cardiovascular sports: brisk walking, hiking, Nordic walking, running, cycling, swimming, football, tennis, rowing, combat sports, rugby, indoor cardio…
- Muscular strengthening: bodybuilding, crossfit, weightlifting, indoor gym.
Ideally, you should choose at least one cardiovascular activity that you can do regularly.
Choose the one that seems most accessible to you, depending on where you live, your fitness level and your schedule.
In addition, you can perform muscle strengthening 1 to 2 times a week, at home or in the gym.
3) How many hours of sport per week to start?
When you are a beginner athlete, it is advisable to follow the following recommendations regarding the number of hours of sport per week:
- Minimum 150 minutes of moderate or intense intensity cardiovascular activity, spread over 3 to 5 sessions per week.
- 2 muscle strengthening sessions, 20 minutes or more each. They can be done at the same time as cardio.
- Stay active on a daily basis and on days without sport, including walking to limit sitting, 4000 steps per day or more.
This is the recommended minimum to obtain the health benefits of sport. This is ideal when you are just starting out and it allows you to set yourself an achievable first goal.
4) At what intensity to train?
The most common mistake that leads to so many failures and injuries among beginner athletes: choosing the wrong exercise intensity.
There are 3 distinct levels of intensity for physical activity:
- Low intensity, you can talk easily, with full sentences, or even sing.
- Moderate intensity, you can speak, 2 or 3 sentences before catching your breath, but not sing.
- High intensity: you are too breathless to articulate a full sentence, you can just say a few words.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete, the vast majority of your sports sessions should be carried out at a moderate intensity.
It is at this intensity that you will benefit from the best results on your health, your form and also to lose weight.
At this intensity, you should breathe a little more than at rest, but without being out of breath. You must be hot, and starting to sweat.
1 to 2 times a week maximum, you can train at high intensity. If you do more sessions at this rate, you risk not having fun, and especially injuring yourself for lack of recovery.
5) Establish a training program
To motivate yourself and get into the sport gradually, you can establish a training schedule.
There are many advantages to sticking to a training program per week:
- Better organize yourself, by noting in your schedule the times of the week when you can play sports.
- Set goals for yourself, such as respecting your schedule for the week to stay motivated.
- Gradually increase the number or time of training to reach your goals.
- Observe progress and become aware of the steps taken.
Avoid doing too much or too little, in order to keep your motivation and avoid injuries.
Some people find it very difficult to establish a structured and progressive schedule when they start exercising.
If you are one of those people, you can use my 16 week fitness program for the beginner athlete, suitable for all ages.
6) Exercise at home
It is quite possible to play sports at home, and to train properly.
To follow the same recommendations and the right program, you must practice different exercises:
Follow a muscle strengthening session containing 10 bodybuilding exercises without equipment.
Add cardio sports exercises, with or without equipment.
Perform stretching to complete your sessions.
7) Warm up, hydrate and eat healthy
When you play sports, your body is put to the test. It must therefore be taken care of in order to last for the long term. Indeed, it is the regularity that will bring you the most benefits.
If you want to avoid injuries and keep doing sports for a long time, you can follow the following tips:
- Start each session with a 5 to 10 minute warm-up. To do this, you just need to start gradually to make the transition between resting intensity, light intensity and then moderate intensity.
- End your session with a return to calm. Whatever your level of intensity, allow 5 minutes at the end of your session to gradually reduce your level of effort in order to return to a light intensity, then rest.
- Hydrate after your session, with water only. If you have sweated a lot and for a long time, you can choose mineral water or lightly salted sparkling water. It is advisable to drink during training, if it lasts more than an hour.
Adopt a healthy, balanced and anti-inflammatory diet. The athlete’s diet is very important to obtain all the benefits of training and to recover well. Poor nutrition leads to the development of injuries and fatigue.
Sleep 7 to 9 hours each night, for the same reasons as before.
Manage your daily stress level, as it can disrupt your progress, wear you out and lead to injury.
8) Get into exercise and stick with it
The key to staying motivated and making exercise a habit is to enjoy exercising. This allows you not to see the sport as a constraint.
For this, you can apply the following tips:
- Choose an activity that you like first and that is practical for you.
- Avoid intensive sessions that rhyme with negative feelings, suffering and often little results.
- Alternate different activities, while having fun.
- Listen to music during your sessions, or podcasts to learn and grow.
- Play sports in nature, to have more fun and feel good.
- Join a gym or club for group classes.
- Invest in a training program made by a sports and health coach.
- Start the sport with a friend or girlfriend, to stick with it.
- Follow your progress, by making a weekly training diary.
Quickly, the sport will become a habit for you.
9) Which sport to lose weight?
Cardiovascular activities are the most recommended for losing weight: brisk walking, cycling, running, swimming, hiking…
Then, it is advisable to follow the following recommendations, concerning the right sports program to lose weight:
- To lose some weight, it is advisable to do between 150 and 250 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week.
- For more significant weight loss, it is necessary to practice 250 minutes or more per week of cardio sport at moderate intensity.
- If you want to lose weight while exercising less, moderate dietary restriction will increase weight loss.
When you engage in moderate-intensity physical activity (you can speak), you also burn more fat.
Conversely, by training at high intensity all the time, you never train your body to be enduring and to burn fat, only or almost exclusively glucose.
In addition, you can practice weight training to increase muscle mass and promote fat loss.