How To Start Exercising When You're Out Of Shape

Our Total Makeover participants get brand-new diets and workout plans for six months with the help of a team of weight-loss experts. Recently, Stephen Gullo, the Total Makeover nutrition expert, blogged about the small changes you can make to your diet to see big results. But the diet is half the battle. We asked our Total Makeover trainers Tehera Nesfield and Juan Pellot, both from Equinox Fitness Clubs, what to keep in mind when you're heading to the gym for the first time in months.

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Start slowly-but make it count. "Don't overdo it your first week,"says Pellot. "Aim to keep your heart rate between 65 and 85 percent of your maximum beats-per-minute-that's a clever way to maximize your workout without killing yourself."

Progress quickly. "Vary your speed and intensity every few minutes while doing cardio," Nesfield says." It will help you see results within a couple of weeks."

Keep it up. It may seem counterintuitive, but soreness doesn't mean stop. "Working out will increase blood flow to the sore areas, which will help flush the build-up of lactic acid and other toxins from the muscle tissue," says Pellot. "The result is a higher tolerance to fatigue and muscle soreness, as well as faster recovery."

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