Diet is 80%, you have that solved. Exercise is the other 20%, what plan do you have to help you lose weight and get fit? With all good plans, you must follow it 100%, be persistent and determined. If you have not exercised intensely in a while or are overweight, the key is to do things slowly. When I originally set my goal to lose weight in 2009/10 I started slow, this time around is no different. If you start too quickly with too much intensity, you will burn out quickly, injure yourself and lose motivation.
A Plan to Exercise
Where to start?
Start slowly! At 150 pounds, I realized that jogging or running would be too stressful on my joints (not to mention my butt jiggling made me very self-conscious), so I started walking. I started with 15-20 minute fast-paced walks, and then upped it to 30 minutes. Once I achieved that with ease, I would go for hour-long walks on my lunch break five days a week.
When I lost 10 pounds, I knew my body could handle running and jogging. Again, start slow and set targets for yourself. I started running using intervals – 2 minutes running, 4 minutes walking/recovery and repeat several times. I use a treadmill during winter months and a moderate pace for me is 5MPH and recovery at 4MPH.
- Week 1 – 4 workouts of 20 minutes each. Three intervals of 2 minutes jogging at moderate pace with 4-minute walking rests. Warm up/Cool down 2 minutes each
- Week 2 – 4 workouts of 30 minutes each. Three intervals of 4 minutes jogging at moderate pace with 6-minute walking rests. Warm up/Cool down 2 minutes each
- Week 3 – 4 workouts of 45 minutes each. Three intervals of 8 minutes jogging at moderate pace with 6-minute walking rests. Warm up/Cool down 2 minutes each
- Week 4 – 4 workouts of 60 minutes each. Three intervals of 10 minutes jogging at moderate pace with 8-minute walking rests. Warm up/Cool down 2 minutes each
[box type=”info”]Moderate pace should be your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), at about 12 to 14. Practitioners generally agree that perceived exertion ratings between 12 to 14 on the Borg Scale suggests that physical activity is being performed at a moderate level of intensity.[/box]
What to do when you have hit the “plateau”
You have lost those first 10 pounds and for weeks now, nothing more has been coming off and you are ready to quit. DO NOT GIVE UP! This is the point where most people quit. You get discouraged that the pounds or inches are no longer coming off and wonder why.
Your body has become used to your workouts. You are no longer challenging your body. This is the time to change it up! At this stage, I added in cycling. I did high-speed laps weekdays and on weekends, long (20K/1hr 30 min) distance (endurance) rides. I also added roller blading; this helped with my thighs and the saddlebags that most women develop. More to try: Pilates, Yoga, Weight training, Agility Training.
[box type=”download”]My fave workouts: Nike Training Club Mobile App for IPhone. Take your workout with you![/box]
If you cycle, map out a course that has hills. It will offer variation and you will have to work hard to get up them. I knew at first I could not get all the way up each hill, so each week I set a target for every hill before I had to stop and take a break. Finally, I got up every single hill on my route and made it through my entire route without stopping! What a rush that was! The feeling of accomplishment was so great, I cheered at the top of the last hill.
The intensity increased dramatically and so did the results. Always be careful of pushing yourself and the intensity level! There were several times I pushed myself a bit too hard on too hot of a summer day and nearly blacked out or threw up. If you get to this point, its important to not stop but keep your body moving at a slower pace until your heart rate slows down. Drink lots of water!