I hear it all the time: “I know I should workout, but I’m too far gone and the thought of getting started is terrifying”, or “I have no idea what to do” or, my favorite – “I just don’t have time”.
I get it. I truly do. But, I’m always of the mindset that nothing can be too terrifying, overwhelming or time-consuming if we break it down into bite-size pieces.
Getting active and taking care of the body that carries you around is critical to your health. Cri-ti-cal. Your heart, lungs, blood, muscles, joints , brain- basically, your entire body – need you to get active and at least on the path towards being fit.
It know it’s scary. I know it’s terrifying. And, I absolutely know that it is confusing out there. So, I’m going to make it simple for you and give you five guidelines to working out that you can tackle, one-by-one.
My 5 Workout Guidelines:
#1 – Sweat, on purpose, at least 3 times per week.
This means I want you to dedicate three, 15-minute sessions to cardio – minimally. Ideally, you’d complete over 20 minutes of cardio, but if you’re just starting again or getting out of a rut, start with 15 minutes and build on that.
What you do for cardio is up to you. But, at the end of the session, you should be breathless, sweaty and feeling accomplished (or exhausted…LOL…depends where you’re at!).
Yup…tip #1 – get sweaty…and don’t be scared to show it!
#2 – For weight loss, weight-bearing exercises are best.
Cardio sessions are always best if you complete a weight-bearing exercise. Treadmills, steppers, going for a walk – those are all weight-bearing exercises. This means that you are responsible for holding your own weight and moving your own body, unassisted through space.
Things like biking or swimming are not weight-bearing. Here’s a caveat: if you have a lot of weight to lose, you can start with non-weight-bearing exercises for ease on your joints. But, once the weight starts coming off, get off your buns and move your own body.
#3 – Lift weights at least 2 times per week.
Weight training is one of the most overlooked, and wicked (IMO) tools in a fitness plan for newbies or re-starters. Everyone always focuses on cardio, cardio, cardio, but holy smokes – weight training is the bomb.
Not only does weight training help you get stronger so you can get through your days easier and with less fatigue, it also build muscle that protects your body AND helps it burn more calories than fat does. Strength training also helps prevent the loss of lean body mass that occurs with age and/or dieting.
If you’re unsure of what to do for a strength training program, get help. And that leads me to #4 on my my workout guidelines.
#4 – Get educated help.
Listen, there’s a lot, and I mean A LOT of shitty information out there on fitness. People can literally take a weekend course and be “trained” to help you with your fitness goals. This boggles my mind. BOGGLES IT.
If you’re unsure what to do and you need more help than the 3 sessions of weight-bearing cardio and 2 days of strength training recommended above, find someone you trust and you know is educated to help you.
I’m not saying they need a Ph.D. in exercise physiology at all. I mean, I know that’s what I have, BUT…there are many good trainers out there without the Ph.D. but with loads of smart courses under their belt and loads of experience. Choose those people!
Please, please, please research someone before you decide to go for them for advice OR go to them for a program and/or personal training.
If you’d like to chat with me, I do one-on-one consults where we review your goals, your current program (if you have one) and get you started on a plan that will work for you. It’s fun, I promise. CLICK HERE to set up a time to chat!
CK HERE to set up a time to chat!
Muwahahahahahaha. Just kidding. Kind of.
#5 – Remember that health is more than just fitness. You need to take care of your body, mind and soul.
People always equate health to working out. Sometimes they’ll throw in a carrot or a salad because they remember that nutrition is also important, but please remember you need to take care of yourself in more ways than just getting sweaty.
Think nutrition to nourish that body of yours. Think hydration to keep joints and blood moving easily. Think self-care to take care of your brain. Think kindness towards others to take care of your soul. There are so many aspects to your health and fitness, it’s important to address them all.
If you need a starting point, check out my Choose Your Own Fitventure membership. You get five new challenges every week that cover fitness, nutrition, kindness, self-care. Every week is different. You choose what day to get each challenge done and you have a week to get them all done. Five new challenges are released every Sunday.
It’s super fun and it’s a GREAT way to get started or re-started on your health and fitness journey.
Just a thought.
Quick summary: Cardio 3 times per week with weight-bearing movements, weights twice a week, get help to ensure you’re doing things correctly and take care of your body, mind AND soul.
See? Not too overwhelming. Not so terrifying. And, lots of ways to help get you started. You CAN do this, you know. Please let me know if I can help you in any way, shape or form. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any and all of your questions.
Now go on…GET YOUR BUTT MOVING!
Love this (and love that you also included a summary). We’re “use to be” super fit humans and slowly making our way back to that life, starting a brand new routine (that includes all kinds of fun) this week! Thanks for the reminders!
Thanks! Been in a rut for a little bit but started walking last week. It’s a start!
Nick North says
So needed this. I just went back to the gym yesterday after 6 months of not walking through the doors and I can already feel myself slipping to the “well that checks that off the list for June!”
Ha ha. Thank you!!
I’m good about the cardio, but I never do the weights….I will have to add that in!
Great tips! And such perfect timing with beautiful, summer days here —it’s the perfect time to get out and start moving!
The Juneau Home Blog