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When getting into fitness, many beginners don’t realize just how much there is to learn about exercise and how to do it properly. This learning curve can often be overwhelming and discouraging, so to start you off on the right foot, we’ve got some important exercise tips for beginners to remember as they begin.

Set Realistic Goals

In the heat of the moment, when motivation has struck, it’s easy to set lofty goals for yourself. However, while an end goal is important, you need to have smaller, more achievable goals in between. This will help preserve your motivation by giving you a visible way of tracking your progress and opportunities to celebrate your successes. If you only focus on the big end-goals, you’ll quickly burn yourself out as your results seem less than satisfactory and your aspirations seem further and further out of reach.

Remember the Cooldown

The neglected brother of the warmup routine is the cool-down routine. Many people don’t even know about it. This is just like warming up in that you’ll be doing stretches and light exercises, but instead of doing it to warm up before exercise, you’ll be using it to cool down after. It gives your body a chance to slow down and resume normal functions. Think of your body like an engine in a car. Suddenly slamming on the breaks can potentially harm the engine and damage your car, so the same applies to your body.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Nothing is more crucial than this important exercise tip for beginners to remember. Keeping your body hydrated is key to an effective and safe workout. When your body is properly hydrated, your blood has an easier time carrying oxygen to the muscles, which prevents your muscles from cramping up. To do this, you should be sipping on water before, during, and after your workout in at least 10- to 20-minute intervals.

Not All That is Pain is Gain

The saying “No pain, no gain” isn’t entirely correct. You see, you should certainly expect feelings of discomfort, tension, and stress as you push against your limits, but if an exercise is causing immense or sharp pains, you should stop immediately. At that point, you’re simply hurting yourself rather than challenging yourself. There is nothing to be gained from trying to do too much at once, so pace yourself accordingly.

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