... much more than just walking with weights!

10. Tips for Beginners

1. Get a Checkup
It is highly recommended that you get a full physical exam prior to starting any new exercise program. This can be done by your general practitioner or by a sports medicine doctor, ideally in a sports medicine clinic.

2. Set goals for yourself
Neglecting to establish fitness goals for yourself result in a lack of persistence and morale. Make a conscious effort to build up your enthusiasm on a series of attainable successes, by setting realistic short-term and long-term goals for yourself. The accomplishment of a short-term goal is an immediate morale booster; and although more patience and persistence are required to achieve your long-term goals, you will be amply rewarded for their attainment with a lasting sense of well-being.

3. Gear up
XCO® is a form of exercise which actually requires much less equipment than most sports. Even so, proper gear is key. Ensure that you wear proper foot gear. Seek out qualified consultations to help you in your purchase of the right running or walking shoes. Ask other walkers or joggers for a good sporting goods store whose staff are knowledgeable and offer competent advice, and plan sufficient time for your purchase.

4. Get support
Once you have decided that XCO® WALKING & RUNNING is for you, don't neglect to take advantage of a qualified introductory class and our personalized support services. Your XCO® Instructor offers a wide variety of fitness classes for a broad range of performance levels and fitness goals. An additional benefit of XCO®TRAINING classes is that a group setting is helpful to overcoming any initial difficulties in getting started, and also makes follow-through easier.

5. Use Patience and Common Sense
When in doubt, it is best to begin your training gently, rather than risk too much strain. In this manner, the successes you experience in those first few crucial weeks will encourage you to continue with your fitness program. Even if your cardiovascular system seems to adjust to your new workout more quickly than expected, it best to err on the side of caution.

6. Establish the Right Pace
A minimum of exercise will be required to experience measurable results with XCO® TRAINING. Exercising too briefly or with not enough frequency will not produce results. You should exercise at least 30 minutes twice or three times per week to gently accustom your body to your new routine. More experienced athletes can increase the frequency and length of their workouts. Consult with your XCO® INSTRUCTOR to establish a routine that best serves your personal fitness level and goals.

7. Monitor your heart rate
The key to successful endurance training is establishing an optimal workload. The workload should be neither too low nor too high. Too low a workload will not induce adaptation, whereas too high a workload can cause exhaustion, particularly in beginners. Use feedback from a heart rate monitor to guide you in determining the proper frequency, intensity and duration of your workouts, and thereby an optimal workload.

8. Stay hydrated
If you tire easily in the course of your XCO® TRAINING, don't automatically assume that you are out of shape. Exhaustion can also indicate dehydration, caused either by insufficient fluid intake or having waited too long before your fluid intake. Always ensure that you drink water in sufficient quantities to replenish the fluids lost during your workout. We recommend that you drink water prior to your workout, and also at regular intervals during the course of your exercise. 

9. Stay flexible
A thorough stretching program is part and parcel of XCO® TRAINING. Ideally, you should warm up properly prior to your workout and afterwards cool down with stretching exercises. Stretching helps to loosen your muscles and can help prevent strain, soreness and injuries. As an additional benefit, stretching is a great way to get in tune with your own body. 

10. Add variety
Even if XCO® TRAINING becomes your sport of choice, don't be afraid to make occasional forays into other forms of exercise as well. Cross-training adds variety to your daily routine, helps counteract unilateral strain and prevents muscular imbalances. You can improve your strength, endurance and coordination by trying out different sports in addition to your standard.