A beginner workout for a better summer body

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Even a simple beginner workout can take you from flabby to fit by summer
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A well planned beginner workout will get you in summer shape fast!

Summer is racing towards us...are you ready?  Or is the idea of hitting the beach in a bathing suit enough to send you into fits of longing for the baggy sweaters of January?

Fear not!  Even if it's been months since you've seen the inside of a gym, there is hope for getting a summer ready body in time for the first beach party of the season. Although you should speak with a professional trainer about your body's special needs and your doctor if you have any health concerns here's a list of a few beginner workout ideas that will have you shedding the sweats and heading for the short shorts in no time.

Pilates the perfect exercise for the impatient

I have no patience when it comes to exercise.  If results aren't nearly instantaneous, I loose interest. Fortunately, Pilates was designed for people like me. The combination of core work, stretches, bounces and resistance work quickly to tone and slim legs, abs and hips.

Start with a class for guidance in creating a beginner workout that will address your body's specific needs.  Or find a good Pilates DVD and start an at-home workout routine.  Set a goal of four workouts per week for the quickest progress towards your summer-slim body. You should start seeing results after about ten four workouts per week, that means you will notice the effects in just over two weeks!  Quick enough for even the most impatient exerciser!

Walking/running to your bathing suit-ready body

It's simple, nearly free and works on almost all body types. Walking and/or running is an effective and fast way to shed winter pounds and firm up flab. And best of all, it's ready made for beginners!  Unless you have a health condition that precludes strenuous activity, start with a schedule of ten minutes of brisk walking, followed by five minutes of running, with another ten minute cool down walk.

Do this three times for one week, then add an extra five minutes of running to the schedule in week two.  The next week, add another five minutes of running, making your workout a ten minute walk, followed by a twenty minute run and a ten minute cool down. This forty minute walking and running workout three times a week will have the pounds melting off in no time! A perfect beginner workout, and all it will cost is a pair of good running shoes!

Yoga for peace and a better body

Most people think of yoga as a way to reduce stress and improve flexibility, but it's also great as part of a beginner workout routine. The slow movements and poses help to elongate and firm the muscles throughout the body, leading to a leaner and more toned physique.   

There are dozens of wonderful yoga DVDs available.  Select one that explains how to do each pose, especially if you are brand new to yoga. When performed properly, the poses are beneficial. Done incorrectly, they can be painful and frustrating. As your skill improves, move on to a more advanced tape or class.  Incorporating a 15 minute yoga routine into your morning each day will start to provide you with visible results within three to four weeks. The longer you continue, the better the results will be.

A few rules for any beginner workout

  • Check with your health care provider, especially if you have health issues or have not exercised for a long time
  • Start gently.  The no-pain-no-gain model was wrong!
  • Make sure you have the right tools.  A pair of quality running shoes, a non-slip yoga mat or a Pilates resistance strap are all essential to get the best and safest results from any workout.
  • Mix and match your workout. If possible, alternate your activity from day to day. Mixing up your exercise choices will make your beginner workout more effective in a shorter period of time.
  • Stick with it, even on busy days. Five minutes of exercise on a super-busy day is better than skipping a day entirely.  Try to do your complete routine each day, but if life gets too much some days, squeeze in as much as you can, then return to your regular time the next day.
  • The following are NOT excuses for skipping workouts: rain (you can workout indoors), a great TV show (exercise while you watch), house guests (invite them to join you) or travel (you can do some form of exercise anywhere, and most hotels now have gyms.)
A better summer body is only weeks away!  Ready, set, slim!

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