“My New Years resolution is to lose weight”, sound familiar? With the New Year around the corner many people are interested in starting an exercise program. Starting an exercise program can seem very intimidating and overwhelming. Usually, first time exercisers don’t know where to start or how their bodies will respond to the type of exercise they are doing. Rest assured this article will break down starting an exercise routine in a very simple to do and easy to remember method.
So you may have put on a little bit of weight over the holidays or have just been struggling with weight loss in the past and have tried time and again to start an exercise program or diet. Whenever starting anything new, it comes with a lot of trial and error and also frustration. Moxie Life will break down diet and exercise as simple as possible to help you stick to your goals instead of becoming discouraged and giving up.
Lets begin with exercise. You’re excited and super motivated to start working out every day and do whatever it takes to get it done, that’s great! However, exercising everyday is unrealistic, even for the most seasoned athlete. Simplicity is brilliance, exercising and living healthy is a marathon not a sprint. Lets say for example you have never exercised before, starting out with exercise 2-3x a week (not back to back) is a very realistic approach.
You do not want to exercise everyday for the very simple reason that your body is NOT accustomed to extra physical activity. You know that feeling after you workout and two days later you are so sore you can barely walk! That’s no fun. It will leave you with a bad experience and you will probably be very hesitant to continue exercising. By allowing yourself the opportunity to exercise 2-3x a week you will provide your body the necessary rest to recover from the workout you have completed.
Once you have successfully completed 3 weeks of exercising 2-3x a week your body will have adapted to the fact that you are giving it more physical activity. Your body is ready for more! Don’t go to crazy though. Add in another day of exercise; now you’re on a roll. Once you have momentum on your side you may start to experience the positives of exercising such as increased energy levels, better moods, less stress, your clothes may feel looser, you may have even lost a few pounds and you’re feeling good.
You’re probably saying to yourself, “I can exercise 2-3x a week, but what kind of exercise should I do?” If you have never exercised before starting with some light cardio would be a good idea because of the fact it will not be super strenuous on your muscles meaning it won’t leave you feeling in pain. Cardio is anything such as jogging, biking, swimming, boxing/kickboxing, aerobics anything that is going to make you huff and puff and break a sweat. Now you’re probably asking yourself, “How hard should I exercise?” A very simple recommendation that’s also easy to remember is the 1-10 scale, 1 being easy and 10 being difficult. On a scale from 1-10, you want to work at about a 5-7 level to get your heart pumping, breaking a light sweat and also introducing some intensity to your body.
After 3 weeks of initially beginning to exercise your body may now be ready for some muscular work such as strength training or circuit training. Your goal or what you want to achieve will dictate what kind of muscular training you should be doing. Remember at this stage of about a month of exercise you may be exercising 3-4x a week. To begin with strength training start off with maybe 2x a week just to introduce your muscles to the load you will be placing upon them. Once your body becomes familiar with strength training you can then increase the intensity and the frequency of how often you do strength training.
Now that you are on a roll with exercise the same set of rules that you use for starting an exercise program can also be applied to dieting. Remember, simplicity is brilliance. Crash diets never work and starting a strict diet from the get-go is almost guaranteed to fail. Start small and simple and build from there. Sticking to a strict diet every day is difficult even for the most disciplined individual and you will probably be miserable while doing so. Just as you can start easy with exercise, you can also start off easy with diet being conscious of eating healthier 2-3x a week.
Lets define “eating healthier” for a second. We all know that bacon cheeseburger and french fries is not going to help you become healthier. You’re Mother most likely always hassled you to eat your fruits and vegetables. With good reason I may add. Mother always knows best. Simply start by removing the foods that you know you should not be eating and incorporating more of the foods that you should. Again, don’t try and go crazy on diet every day. Start with 2-3x a week and build from there.
As a simple rule of thumb, your body will treat you the exact same way you treat it. Meaning, if you do not exercise and eat poorly your body will respond to your actions as such. If on the other hand you treat your body with nutrient dense foods and physical activity it will treat you accordingly. The beautiful thing about the human body is that once you start introducing things to your body that are good for you it will naturally start to crave for more of those things and will create a snowball effect into a healthier and more active life. At the end of the day the choice is yours as to whether you choose to start exercising or starting a healthier diet. Hopefully this has been a simple how-to guide to get you moving into the right direction.