One of the biggest hangups I see when people ask me for advice with starting an exercise routine, especially for weight loss, is a fear of hard, strenuous exercise. A great number of people think that to lose weight you need to cut your food intake in half, learn to run a marathon, and lift a mountain with one hand.
Okay, minor exaggeration. But for the true beginner in the world of fitness, that’s what a new fitness plan can feel like.
Well, it doesn’t have to. The thing to remember as you start out, and to hold onto as you progress, is that fitness and your plan is all relative to YOU!
So how do you get started without getting overwhelmed?
Taking Your First Steps To Losing Weight
Hint… The headline gives it away. Yeah, it’s that easy. Take the first step.
If you are starting to exercise for the very first time in your life, or coming back after a long time away, the best advice anyone could possible give you is to take it slow. Ease your way in. Find out what you are capable of before trying to push yourself further.
And what easier way to do that than to take a walk. Just a simple walk! That’s all it takes to get started. Did you know that if you weigh 200 pounds, you will burn around 200 calories just by walking for half an hour at 3 MPH?
Does 3 MPH sound fast to you? That’s the average walking speed of a moderately fit individual. So if you’re just starting out, walking 3 MPH really means just walking with purpose instead of just moseying along.
So if you really want to get control of your fitness, and lose that extra weight, find half an hour in your day to go for a brisk walk.
Can’t fit in a full half hour? How about 10 minutes in the morning? Maybe another 10 minutes on your lunch break? How about 10 more minutes after dinner?
There! Half an hour of walking. 200 calories burned. Keep that up for a week, and you’ll lose about half a pound.
Ready To Step It Up A Notch?
Take some time to get used to the walking that you’ll be doing on a regular basis. Hopefully daily. How much time you take to get used to it and make it a normal part of your day is up to you. Maybe 3 weeks. Maybe 3 months.
The point is, no one knows better than YOU when YOU are ready to move on to more.
And when you are ready to move on to more, your options really start to open up.
So at this point, if you’re ready to move on to something a little more intense, you could start jogging. Instead of walking for half an hour, walk for 20 minutes, and jog for 10. Or keep walking for half an hour and add 10 minutes of jogging.
And like when you started out walking, you don’t need to jog for 10 minutes straight. Do two 5-minute jogs. Or five 2-minute jogs. It’s completely up to you.
Don’t want to jog? No problem. A lot of people cringe when they hear the words ‘jog’ or ‘run’. I guess I can’t really blame them. It’s either something you love, or you really, really hate!
Okay, so no jogging! Got it. How about cycling? Got a bike sitting in your garage you haven’t looked at in a while? Maybe you should get reacquainted! Don’t want to ride a bike around the neighborhood? There are plenty of affordable options out there for stationary bikes. Then you can do your cycling after dinner while you watch the evening news. Not only are you getting your exercise in for the day, you’re multi-tasking!
Sweat, Sweat, And Sweat Some More!
That pretty much sums up your goal for weight loss exercises. The more you sweat, the better you’re doing. This is because if you are sweating, you have worked your body to a state where it is ready to burn calories.
Your heart is pumping.
You’re breathing heavy.
Your legs are getting tired.
And you’re sweaty all over!
Congratulations! You’ve got yourself an exercise plan that is working. It’s an exercise plan that you designed right from the start. Your exercise plan really is YOUR exercise plan. It was designed for you, by you. That’s why you were able to stick with it at the start, and why you stuck with it long enough to get yourself working out hard enough to be… Well, the sweaty mess you are right now!
It feels good, doesn’t it?! You did good work. You burned those calories you wanted to burn. You’re starting to see the weight come off. Maybe it’s just a half a pound a week. Maybe it’s 3 pounds a week. That all depends on what you decided were reasonable goals for you, and how drastic you decided to go with combining exercise and diet.
Just be proud that you’ve gotten where you are, and keep moving forward.
You’re Doing Great! Keep It Up.
You’ve put in the work to get started.
You’ve put in the effort to put it into action.
You’ve pushed yourself to take it to the next level.
These are all things that YOU did. No one did this for you. It was all YOU!
And you can keep doing this. Remember, no one decides how or when to change your exercise plan but you. Any time you feel like you could do a little more, or push yourself a little harder, GO FOR IT! It’s your exercise plan. It’s your fitness. It’s your health. It’s your life. You’ve taken control of all of it.
I know you have what it takes to get in the best shape of your life, and you’re well on your way.
It would be great if you could rate this article, and let me know what you thought in the comments below. Ask questions. Tell me what you would like to see added to the site!
Best of luck on your journey,
P.S. Remember, if you ever have questions, or need help, or even just a little encouragement, feel free to reach out. You can leave a comment, or send me an e-mail, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.