If you visited last Friday, you read my top fitness recommendations for 2012. And hopefully they inspired you to get moving this week. But ultimately the question becomes, “What is your goal?”
If you’re trying to lose weight versus maintain weight, your fitness regimen will need to look a little different. You’ll need to start at a more intense level. So let’s break down the two scenarios.
If you’re trying to lose weight:
In simple terms, you’ll want to exercise more than you are now. But what’s the ideal? The ideal is exercising 5-7 times per week, with a balance of strength training and cardio. Strength training should be at least 48 hours apart (to let your muscles recoup), and the cardio can be any day of the week.
Now I know you’re thinking, “What?! Do you know how busy I am?! That’s not possible!”
I’m living proof that it is. If I can fit in a rigid exercise schedule with two little ones and a full calendar, anyone can. Here’s another living example…
Keli Gwyn shared the perfect regimen in her comment last week. She does circuit training three days a week and walks the other four days a week. If you’re intent on losing weight (or in Keli’s case, battling a medical condition like osteoporosis), you’ll need to commit to something every day. And the more intense the cardio, the better. Not to mention watching your calorie intake, but that’s another post for another day.
So what do you do if you can’t commit to seven days a week? I’d challenge you to aim for five and make them really count. A boot camp class can kickstart the calorie burn by combining cardio and strength. Zumba is a high-intensity cardio workout that will burn more calories than walking. Understand your time limitations and make the most of the time you do have.
If you want to maintain your weight:
Aim to exercise 3-5 times per week. It’s still important to get both strength training and cardio, so if you can find a workout that combines both in one (like a boot camp or a cardio sculpt type of class), that’s great. Again, the more you can maximize your time, the better.
So there you have it…Two strategies to reach two different goals. No matter how you approach your workout regimen, I think Keli’s words from last week sum it up nicely.
At first I balked at the thought of working out, but I’ve discovered that exercise can be habit forming–in a good way. I feel better, and I feel better about myself. Plus I no longer deal with the guilt that came from knowing I should have been working out but wasn’t. I can look my doctor in the eye when she asks about my exercise regimen.
And don’t we all want to feel better, regardless of what the scale says?
So do share, where would you say your goals fall right now? How does your current workout regimen help or hurt that goal? Any other things you’ve learned from your own experiences that you can share?
*photo by John Kasawa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net