It’s time. You’ve made the decision and you should pat yourself on the back. Exercise is important, but it doesn’t always have to be equated with pain, torture or misery. Active people are actually happier because they are doing something they enjoy while burning calories. And endorphins are a real thing! So, dust off those tennis shoes, sit up off the couch, we are about to change your life!
When it comes to starting a new workout regimen, it can be easy to get overexcited, enthusiastic and over committed too fast. This will absolutely lead to burn out. So, if you are ready to start the journey, it’s important to mentally and physically prepare so you can adapt to a new lifestyle. It’s important to note that anyone who has excessive weight concerns should contact a doctor or medical professional before beginning a new workout routine. There may be hormonal or other factors which are prohibiting you from losing the weight you want.
The fact that you are reading this article is a great first step! Exercise is important! The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends at least 150 minutes every week of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes every week of vigorous exercise. That can be broken down into 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. Very doable!
Where To Begin
If you’re just starting out and you have quite a bit to lose, this might seem a little nuts. But it’s important to view this recommendation as workable. If you’re physically unable to complete 30 minutes of exercise this week, do what you can, and build toward 30 minutes daily over time. In fact, three sessions of 10 minutes of exercise a day adds up to the same calorie expenditure as a continuous 30 minutes.
Here are some workouts for getting started:
It may seem like the simplest thing, but walking can be one of the easiest ways to trim down! You don’t need any equipment other than a pair of comfortable walking shoes (and comfortable clothes). You can literally march out the door, put your favorite music or podcast on and do some laps around your neighborhood, local school track or scenic path.
It doesn’t have to feel punishing either! Just enjoy the fresh air, ability to move and interesting sights while you are burning calories. When you can make walking part of an everyday lifestyle, you will see the pounds melt off and feel more energized and happier. You may meet some other walking friends, or this is a great opportunity to take your pup out for a much-needed stroll. Many avid walkers are dependent on their daily journey and realize the multiple benefits of engaging in this activity.
Love the water but hate to swim? Water aerobics or “aqua aerobics” can be a great option for you! You will typically be waist deep or deeper and performing movements in a vertical fashion. Even the simplest pool exercise—walking forward and backward in waist-high water—improves your balance, trains the core muscles of your abdomen, increases your flexibility and boosts cardiovascular fitness. You’ll also burn calories, reduce fat and lose weight at the same rate as working out on land. Plus, it’s a great social activity and you can meet some fellow aqua enthusiasts while still social distancing. And you know what? It’s really, really fun!
Burn baby burn! If you’re ready to burn some serious calories yet you might have some joint or back issues, a stationary back can be a great solution. Spinning has become increasingly popular over the past decade because it’s effective. But if you don’t want to sign up with a gym or be surrounded by others, you can always purchase an at home stationary bike for your workouts.
Peloton has made a huge name for itself because people love the convenience and privacy of cycling at home. Even if you don’t want to spend buckets on a high-intensity stationary bike, you can still peruse your local apps for those willing to get rid of theirs. Or, if you’re a fan of the outdoors, you can purchase a bike and cruise the local sidewalks, parks or trails.
Yes, it is one of the oldest exercises in the book – for good reason! Push-ups not only work your arms and back, but your entire body must be engaged to perform these correctly. The great thing about push-ups is they can be modified, so anyone can do them. You can start traditionally on the floor, on your knees, or on a wall, desk or bench. The important thing is that you are trying. When you incorporate these into your lifestyle movement, you will see muscle development in a variety of areas.
Resistance training is one of the greatest treatments you can give your body. It activates your muscles, fires your metabolism and you keep burning long after you are done. If you have the access or the means, begin using dumbbells at home. There are laundry lists of exercises that can be done and you can do it in the privacy of your home. There are even plenty of phone apps that can lead you through dumbbell exercises so you don’t have to struggle or wonder what to do. When you start using resistant weights, you’ll feel challenged and you will notice results quickly.
The reality is, is all about your level of commitment. The more you put into your exercise journey, the more you will reap. Sometimes it can be a little intimidating or challenging to get going, but once you start seeing results and feeling the exercise high that comes with it, you’ll be enthused to keep at it. It’s important to have a strong support network to keep you going and to modify your diet. A healthy lifestyle does require a healthy diet and when you eat better, you feel better.
No more drive-throughs, no more extra bread, if you are focused on being healthier you must adjust. Of course, a nutritionist or certified nutrition coach can give you the best advice, but it’s smart to start out with a food journal to report your daily habits.