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Back To Basics: Guide To A Winning Workout For Beginners

Back To Basics: Guide To A Winning Workout For Beginners

If you’re just starting back on your fitness journey, it can be a little overwhelming. With so many exercise options and terminology floating around, it’s easy to get lost and disheartened in your workout.

I always say that “we don’t have to be athletes now we’re over 50, but we don have to do some form of physical activity every day. 

The Physical Activity Guidelines recommend 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week, with an additional two sessions of strength training to help maintain optimal fitness levels. Following this guideline has shown an overall improvement in quality of life and is key to preventing and managing chronic disease.

I get a lot of questions on particular phrases and instructions that are included in my workouts and I wanted to compile them all here for you, so you never have to be confused again.

Let’s get back to the basics!

Reps And Sets:

A rep, or repetition, is the number of times a certain exercise is executed. A set is how often this rep is repeated.

Using push-ups as an example, two sets of five reps means you should do five push-ups and then repeat this twice.


Remember this, because every workout MUST start with a warm-up to prepare your body for incoming exercise. Otherwise, we run the risk of damage and muscle injury. We warm up our muscles in a gentle way before we start on the serious portion of the workout.

Stretch out your legs, arms, ankles, wrists, and neck to warm-up your muscles and loosen your joints. I think you’ll really enjoy this stretching routine to help you get ready for any workout!

If you’re looking for a new warm-up routine, I think you’ll really enjoy this super quick and easy 5 minute warm up which is perfect for beginners!


Some light walking, jogging or dancing is a great way to get your blood pumping and your body ready for exercise.

It’s also a great way to tighten up and tone muscles!

On a deeper level, cardio training has been shown to lower the bodies resistance to insulin and decreases blood glucose levels. For weight loss this tremendously beneficial.

Because insulin regulates how the body utilises glucose, insulin resistance can lead to a higher chance of glucose being stored as fat rather than used for energy. Lowering our insulin resistance counteracts this.

So, how do you begin?

Start with 15-30 minutes four times a week. Don’t get disheartened if you’re out of breath – that’s to be expected and a sign you are working hard! Research also shows that doing a 30 – 60 second bursts of exercise approx. every hour can also be very good for reducing insulin spikes and losing those extra few kilos.

Your body needs consistent cardio for a less-breathy workout. 

As it gets easier (and it will), you’ll need to up the intensity. You should be able to talk, but definitely not sing!

If you’re ready to get into a cardio workout now, I think you’ll really enjoy this 10 minute routine which is perfect to do first thing in the morning!

Strength Training:

This is the winning workout for weight-loss, targeting different muscle groups at a time to build strength and burn calories.

Maintaining strength in our bodies as we get older will allow us to carry out our day to day tasks with more ease and better equip us with the tools necessary to thrive.

Workout two times a week with break days in between, alternating between muscle groups each day. There is no set period of time you should be aiming for here, however it’s important that you hit all the major muscle groups. Arms, abs, back and legs can all benefit from strength training.

Start with 2-5kg weights and incorporate them into squats, lunges, seated overhead presses, and crunches.

I think you’ll really enjoy this strength training routine which focusses on toning the arms and building strength in the upper body.


Stretching is vital for maintaining mobility over the age of 50. Stretching will also help waken up your muscles and prepare you for any physical strain a workout may impose, lowering the risk of injury and helping you stay on top of your game.

If you’re new to stretching and not sure where to start, I think you’ll really enjoy this quick 5 minute stretch you can complete every single day of the week.

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