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Regular exercise and a balanced diet, contribute greatly to good health. It is essential to indulge in some or the other form of physical activity, to maintain your weight, and to keep the body in good shape. A workout program should be well-balanced, with cardio and strength training exercises. To start your workout regimen, choose from the exercise given below.

Cardiovascular Workouts

Cardio workouts have many health benefits. Here are some simple cardio workouts you can do, either at a gym or at home.

Running and Jogging: Running and jogging are very easy workouts. You don't need any fitness equipment for running, except for a good pair of shoes. You can do it in a jogger's park or at home, if you own a treadmill. For the first week of your routine, stick to jogging. As your stamina increases, you can switch to running.

Skipping: Skipping with a jump rope is an excellent aerobic workout. Just grab your jump rope, and start skipping. This workout is great, for people who are aiming at weight loss, as a lot of calories are burnt quickly, in a skipping session.

Cycling: Cycling is a good cardio workout. You can either cycle on your bike, or on a cycling machine. With cycling, you build up stamina, and the lower body is toned nicely. If you have cycling specific fitness equipment, you can work out on different endurance settings.

Cross Trainer: Generally, elliptical machines, which are more commonly known as cross trainer machines, are available only at gyms. With a little hand-leg coordination, you can have a good workout on a cross-trainer.

Dancing: Everybody likes to dance, even though we all are not good dancers. Just dance on good high beat music at home, or join a class to shed excess calories plus learn a form of dancing. There are many Latin dance forms, which help in burning calories easily. Quick step salsa, burns the most amount of calories, when compared to other dance forms.

Strength Training

Strength training, is essential to increase the strength of the muscles. Over a period of time, you can increase the amount of weights in your routine. Use no weight or very light weights when you start weight training. Perform 10 - 15 repetitions of each exercise, and if this becomes too much, break it up into 2 sets.
  • Abdominal crunches and waist turns are very effective to get rid of tummy flab. You can perform ab crunches on the floor, or with the support of a bench. Ab crunches help lose tummy fat, and build ab muscles. Waist turns can be done with the help of a pole, placed on the shoulder. Waist turns will help you shed excess fat from the sides of your waist.
  • Squats and lunges are very effective for the lower body. These two exercises really help to strengthen butt and thigh muscles.
  • For strength training of your chest, you can perform bench press. You can start this exercise with light weights, and progress to heavier weights after a month.
  • Hammer curls are good for weight training of the biceps. Start with light weights for hammer curls.
  • Triceps extensions are important for the development and strengthening of triceps muscles.
  • Overhead presses are good to start with, for the shoulders. Start with very light weights. Take precautions when doing this exercise, as you will be picking up weights over your head.
  • For developing back muscles, do back extensions. As you build abs, back exercises will be easier to perform.
Workouts for Beginners

As a beginner, your workout time for the first month should be only around 45 minutes. For the second month, you can go for a workout of 1 hour and as you build up stamina and strength, increase your workout time to 1 and ½ hour. For advanced weight training, always consult a professional instructor, at least for the first few months. Given below is an exercise program for beginners.

Break a cardio session of 45 minutes into three sets of 15 minutes each. The first set should be a running session. For the other two sets, select any two cardio workouts, which you can choose from the exercises mentioned above. Here, is a table for the weekly strength training and cardio sessions.

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1st Week Cardio session of 45 minutes ½ an hour of cardio & 15 minutes of shoulder workout Cardio session of 45 minutes ½ an hour of cardio & 15 minutes chest exercises Cardio session of 45 minutes Rest
2nd Week ½ an hour of cardio & 15 minutes of abdominal workout ½ an hour of cardio & 15 minutes of lower body exercises
3rd Week ½ an hour of cardio & 15 minutes of triceps and biceps workout ½ an hour of cardio & 15 minutes back exercises

As a beginner, exercise only 5 days a week. It is extremely important to rest your muscles. Therefore, avoid exercising on weekends. If a particular muscle set is weak, for example, back muscles, then try not to overdo that muscle set. Also, if you workout at a gym, work with an instructor, in the beginning, who can guide you in weight training.

Important Workouts Tips

Here are some important tips, you should follow before any fitness routines for beginners.
  • It is very essential to perform warm up exercises before a workout, even light jogging for 10 minutes can help warm up the body.
  • When performing any routine, keep a small water bottle sipper with you. Take a 2 minute pause between different cardio workouts, and sip a little water.
  • It is very important that you maintain a right posture during cardio and strength exercises.
  • Stretching regularly, increases the flexibility of the body. After you finish, it is essential that you stretch your body.
  • After the stretches, lie down for 10 minutes till your heartbeat becomes steady.
  • Keep a small hand-towel with you to wipe off the sweat.
  • You can play high beat music to make your workout fun.
  • Always try to follow any routine regularly.
Also, eat healthy food along with the given exercise program for beginners, and soon you will notice the health benefits of regular exercising.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.