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Your Beginner Workout Questions Answered

Working out for the first time can be daunting. You probably have a ton of questions, and sometimes unanswered questions can lead to inactivity because you just don't know where you should start. Don't worry- we've got you covered! We are answering the top questions beginners have when starting a new workout regimen. 

1. How long should my workouts last?

That entirely depends on your style of working out, but a good rule of thumb when you are starting is to start with three to four 40-minute gym sessions per week. The American Heart Association recommends 75-150 minutes of aerobic activity, in addition to two strength-training sessions per week. If the strength training sessions last roughly 20 minutes each, that breaks down to roughly three hours of exercise each week. If that seems like way too much to start off with, that's okay! There is no right or wrong way to begin. You can start with a 15 minute workout and build up to the American Heart Association's guidelines. 

2. What time of day should I work out?

There are cases scientifically made for both morning and afternoon/evening workouts, so really, the best time of day to work out should be entirely based upon YOU! If you feel more energized in the morning, work out then. If you can only squeeze in a workout after work, work out then. Really, there is no perfect, magic time to work out! Experts would agree that working out any time of the day is better than not working out at all!

3. Do I need extra electrolytes to work out?
When you sweat, you not only lose water, but also high concentrations of sodium and chloride. Electrolyte drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are often used to replace those lost electrolytes, but often come with the price of added sugars and calories.  You do not need a sports drink to add the adequate amount of electrolytes back into your body. Just make sure you are eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water to keep your body functioning properly.

4. Should I work out if I am sore?
This depends on how sore you actually are. If you are only feeling mild soreness, it is perfectly fine to work out! Just make sure you aren't overdoing it by doing light exercises like yoga, walking, or easy swimming. If you are extremely sore- so sore that you are having trouble moving without wincing- you need to take it easy with a rest day. Also, intense soreness is an indicator that you pushed it a little too hard. The saying "no pain, no gain" is definitely a myth, so be sure to ease off the intensity of your workout next time to avoid long-lasting injuries. 

5. How can I lose my muffin top/back fat/saddlebags/etc.?
Everyone has a place on their body that they would love to zap the fat from, but unfortunately, targeting one area on your body just does not work. The only way to lose fat from one area of the body is to lose fat from your body overall, and there is just no way to tell how losing body fat overall will affect each area of the body. To cut overall body fat, however, exercise is only one way to do that. You must also eat healthy foods, maintain a calorie deficit, log plenty of sleep, and reduce your stress levels to see results.