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Confused about what to do when you exercise?

We have ALL been there.... we want to get fit and healthy but we don't really know where to start and folks all over the place are shouting different class names at us like exercise Tourette's and we just end up even more confused than when we started!

Let me break it down for you right here and right now... you have three main types of class which coincide with the main areas of fitness:

1️⃣ Cardio

2️⃣ Resistance

3️⃣ Wellness

CARDIO is anything (and I mean anything) that elevates your pulse rate. In an ideal world you will raise your pulse rate 5 times a week, but if you are just starting out, a couple of times a week will do. Cardio can literally be ANYTHING... swimming, jogging, Zumba, bootcamp, walking up-hill, boxing etc etc. For normal non-athlete folk, there isn't one type of cardio that is better than another. It should just be what you enjoy because then you will work hard 🤷🏼‍♀️

If folk want you to try their workout with them and you fancy it, then by all means get stuck in, but by far the most successful cardio workout you can have is one that YOU connect with. Whether is running alone or punching to music in a class environment, the IMPORTANT thing about cardio is that you are training your heart and lungs to function more efficiently. It means they have to work less hard in day to day life because each pump or breath will be more effective.

Cardio burns calories which is why so many folk use it as a tool for weight loss and has small muscle toning benefits for those with a lower fitness level BUT it is not most effective as a weight loss tool without the use of category number 2️⃣ Resistance.

RESISTANCE is a movement against a load. It could be a bodyweight exercise (where your body is the load) such as a press-up or a squat. It could be using a piece of purpose built equipment as the load, like a machine at the gym, a barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell or it could be a more 'natural' load like a sack or a tyre or carrying a human over your shoulder like in lots of bootcamps.

Lots of resistance moves also give a smaller cardio benefit because your pulse rate will also increase but additional resistance training is what shapes your body. It makes you stronger, more resilient physically AND improves the tone of your muscles aka muscle gain. Contrary to popular belief, what people think is 'toning' their muscle is actually the decrease of body fat coupled with muscle gain giving a more 'toned' appearance'.

Resistance training requires focus, hard work and concentration but the benefits are HUGE and UNENDING. Most folk stick with cardio because it is more 'fun' and it is easier to take part in, but resistance training is what gives longevity to our muscle mass meaning we will be stronger for longer. As I have said a million times before, f*ck being an old lady who can't get out of the chair, I will fight that shizzle for as long as possible. Resistance training helps to maintain our muscle mass as we age, with your average person losing muscle mass as a natural part of ageing over 30.

WELLNESS classes help things like balance, mobility and core stability. Things like yoga, pilates, foam rolling classes etc would fall into this category. The reason these classes and workouts are so important are because we often fall foul of training as hard as we can or jumping into a new exercise program with little self-care. It is good for us to maintain 'normal' joint mobility so we can complete tasks more easily eg getting up from the floor and to have good balance so we are less likely to suffer with trips or falls etc. When we have an understanding of what we need, it is likely that we will be able to complete a lot of our wellness training at home or after our main workouts e.g. foam rolling

How should I start exercising?

Simples. Choose something you think sounds fun. Get into a routine with it, learn to love it. If you are brand new to training you are going to start feeling and seeing the benefits very quickly, you'll have more energy and more confidence, you'll feel good inside! Normally folks start with a cardio workout, they are accessible, easier to learn how to do technically and leave you with a phenomenal feel-good factor. That is COOOOOOOL and awesome!

After you have got into a routine with your cardio and you feel like you can handle a little bit more, check out a resistance session. I offer classes like Body Tone, Rave Tone and Booty Blast that will all tick the box, as well as home and gym workout programs that you can download and perform in your own time. Resistance stuff normally feels 'less fun' but is SO effective at helping people reach their goals when implemented correctly and with patience!

As soon as you start exercise of any kind, start incorporating a little 'wellness' into your life. Whether it is remembering to foam roller every week or perform some mobility exercises whilst sat at your desk or simply booking a sports massage once a month, wellness is for everyone. It is what helps us keep exercising for longer. The worst thing we can do is jump in balls deep, start training 5 times a week from 0 and end up injured, sore and frustrated. Build things up slowly, improve your strength and self-care and you will be on to a good'un!

It is NOT hard to decide what to do with your fitness journey, all you need to do is drop me an email or a message and I will happily give you all the advice that you need! First though, all YOU need to do is start 🤷🏼‍♀️💜

Choose something you think is fun and worry about the rest later! 💜💜

To download my FREE glute guide or to get involved with home workouts click here

Anna Martin

Personal Trainer, Group Ex Geek and general lover of everything fitness!

Master Trainer, Choreographer and Presenter for Clubbercise

Creator of Always Moving Forward Instructor Site


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