This is the no brainer part, right? Do some exercise and lose weight. Check, I got this, no problem.
Wait, how should I exercise? How long do I exercise? Do I Zumba, yoga, lift weights, or run? But I hate running! Just kidding, now, I am overwhelmed and have no idea where to start.
It can all feel very complicated, but like almost anything in life, you need to start simple.
When I returned to exercising after my fourth baby, I was the heaviest I had ever been. I was only able to walk for 20 minutes a day, and it was hard. Over two years I worked myself back up to running.
So, let us start with this question: What are activities you enjoy? You will be way more successful getting yourself to exercise consistently if you are doing an activity that you consider “fun.”
I have been around fitness for almost 20 years now and there are three basic components to understand about exercise type, intensity, and time.
Types of exercise are almost endless. Fitness classes work well for social people who are energized by being around other people (guilty). Machines such as treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals are great for people who just want to get on a piece of equipment, work out alone, and follow a program.
If you have bad knees or need lower impact forms of exercise, water walking, swimming, or yoga activities are great places to start. Choose an exericse you can see yourself doing 3-5 days a week and not dread every minute of it.
Intensity is a very personal part of your exercise. What I may consider a moderate intensity may be too easy or way too hard for you. There are many ways of tracking intensity, but remember, we are starting simple.
Rated Perceived Exertion (RPE) - This a 1-10 number scale that has you rate how hard you feel you are working. This scale helps you find a starting point for your current intensity level and the ability to set goals to increase your intensity.
*Check out my favorite things section for a copy of the RPE scale.
Regarding time, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week and two days of muscular strengthening. That breaks down to 30 min, 5 days a week.
It took a big commitment to go back to consistently running and I had plenty of ups and downs as I was regaining that endurance. However, I had set a goal and kept working until I reached it.
This journey is about starting where you are and adding on more time as you are able to do so.
Try to work your way up to 30 minutes per day by adding 1-2 minutes every 3-5 days.
Remember, exercise (anything in life, really), is about making the commitment to start, setting goals, and then taking one step after another until you crush them.
One of my Favorite Quotes I remember when I am struggling with wanting to exercise is “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone sitting on the couch.”
The science behind all the benefits of exercise is vast and something we will dive into detail in this blog. The moral of this story is: get up, start wherever you are, and just get moving!