Step 6: Exercise Plans
Exercising can be simple and take few supplies or more complicated. It all depends on how you decide to burn those calories. Here are a few things you might want to have:
You don't have to go anywhere fancy to get good shoes. The good friends at Academy Sports and Outdoors have less expensive prices and their employees will know what to look for depending on the kind of exercise you plan on engaging in primarily. Without good shoes, working out can become painful, which will make you want to stop.
-A water bottle or some bottled water
You always need access to water during a workout. It is essential. You might be thinking that you'll need a sports drink because you're being active. Don't be fooled. That's you pouring calories into your mouth as you try to burn them! Unless you are running marathons or engaging in an intense sports game, you don't need sugary sports drinks. Water is fine.
-Smartphone or iPod/Book or TV
One of the biggest complaints I used to have about working out was that I had nothing to do on the machines. If you're going to ride a machine, you might want to have something to do when you get there. I would suggest that you tie some entertainment into any kind of exercise, whether you're listening to music, reading a book, or watching your Netflix que. It helps your workout time feel more like your free time used to. You're just not sitting on the couch anymore!
Having a gym membership can help you by putting all of the fanciest, newest tools at your disposal as well as offering exercise classes. It can also be expensive and intimidating for people who are self conscious about their bodies or their lack of knowledge about exercise. Use your own best judgement. Will you use the gym membership? Are you better off just taking brisk walks around your neighborhood or following along with an exercise video for now? If you are not comfortable going to a gym, don't go.
Making Your Exercise Plan
Now it's time to consider how to make a plan to exercise. A major consideration for this will be when to fit it in. I would recommend aerobic activity at least 30 minutes a day, 6 times a week if not 7. How will you do this? Will you wake up early every day to fit it in? Will you go after work? Do you have enough breaks during your workday to break up your workout into two 15 minute sessions or even three ten minute sessions?
Another thing to consider is that your starting plan should be simple. It's important that you experience success early on and add more pieces later. Here's what your first plan might look like:
Mon-Sun: 30 minutes of walking with 5 minute stretch after.
That's it. Maybe within a few months you'll want to add strength training. Strength resides in your upper and lower body and in your core. You can do exercises for each muscle group on certain days of the week. Here's what that plan might look like:
Monday - 30 minutes of walking with upper body strength
Tuesday - 30 minutes of walking
Wednesday - 30 minutes of walking with core strength
Thursday - 30 minutes of walking
Friday - 30 minutes of walking with lower body strength
Saturday - 30 minutes of walking
Sunday - 30 minutes of walking
You can choose from a wide variety of exercises in the different areas. Here is a comprehensive list of exercises . You should try to choose 2 or 3 exercises for each area of your body and choose a reasonable amount of repetitions of the motion to start with. Maybe this is 10. Over time you may work your way up to 20 and then more. There are also things called sets where you do a certain amount of repetitions and then rest for a moment before doing more. Be sure to switch up the exercises periodically to challenge your muscles.
Later on, you might want to add more aerobic or anerobic exercise. I prefer to do around an hour of exercise each day and this can really speed your weight loss. You may want to add new and different activities to interest you. Whenever the exercises feel easy, make them feel harder. There is a difference between being hurt and being uncomfortable. Exercise should not hurt but it should feel uncomfortable. If it's comfortable, you are not being challenged.
Lastly, remember that you can record your physical activity in your calorie journal. Most of the aforementioned smart phone apps and websites will calculate for you how many calories you've burned or the machine might have a display that tells you. It should be noted that the calories you burn are not to be replaced through eating unless you are doing an excessive amount of exercise. It's just helpful to record your calorie burn for personal reference.