If you are on a weight loss diet, adding an exercise routine to your schedule can help you speed up results and minimize the risk of the plateau effect of dieting, which occurs when the body adjusts to a lower daily caloric intake. If you want to start exercising, but don’t know what to do, below you’ll find some useful tips for weight loss exercises plans.
Cardio, strength training, running, stretching, yoga, walking and even dancing: there are countless ways in which you can get your body moving, and different types of exercises that can make fitness a regular part of your schedule – and fun too!
The first, most important step that you should take, even before deciding what type of workout you are going to choose, is committing to your exercises plan. Make exercise a priority in your life and you’ll be able to find the time to get in shape, regardless of the inevitable distractions. No matter what else is going on in your life, stay focused on your fitness goals.
Keep track of your progress using a workout journal, recording your daily exercise log and writing down how you felt before and after exercising.
Before you get started, don’t forget to consult with your physician to check your general health condition. If you have special needs, contacting a personal fitness instructor may be a wise idea.
Choosing the best workout
Cardio workouts, such as aerobics classes, are good for burning up fat. Cardio will help you out of your diet plateau, and is a good addition to any routine. If you are in good physical shape, include at least one cardio workout in your weekly exercise plan to speed up weight loss. If you are out of shape, start with something more gentle.
Strength training exercises can help you burn fat and build muscle. Alternate this type of workout with aerobic exercise to maximize your results.
Walking and running are great activities to include in your routine, as they are free and can be done at any time – in the morning, during your lunch break, or before dinner. Start walking and, as your fitness level increases, alternate brisk walking with jogging. You’ll be running in no time!
Cycling is also a cheap and accessible activity that you can easily commit to. You can cycle to work, to school, to the grocery store, or you can simply cycle around the neighborhood.
Flexibility routines including stretching, yoga, and pilates increase your flexibility and core strength and provide a good alternative for those days when you don’t feel like pushing yourself to the max.
Swimming is a gentle exercise and is a good choice to help you get started if you are out of shape or overweight; water naturally supports your weight alleviating the stress on joints (ie knees and ankles). And it’s fun too!
Most importantly, start prepared. Don’t expect to somehow magically fall into an exercise routine. Take the time to plan it! Adopt a gradual approach, realistically evaluating your fitness level, and review your progress at set milestones – for example after one month.
Tips that will help you stick to the plan
Sticking to a workout plan requires a great amount of self-discipline. Finding an exercise buddy can help you to stay motivated, when the initial excitement wears off. Ask a friend, neighbor, colleague or family member to join you in your workout one or more days a week, join a class at the gym, take up a team sport: you’ll be less tempted to stay home instead of exercising.
Don’t overdo it: exercising too strenuously will burn you out, tiring your body and setting you up for failure. Start gradually and always have at least one day of rest during the week to allow your muscles to recover. The secret to success is doing a little bit of exercise as often as possible. Keep moving…
“12 Weeks to Weight Loss” on About.com, http://exercise.about.com/cs/weightloss/a/12weeks.htm
“Following a Cardio Plan for Weight Loss” on Dummies.com, http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/following-a-cardio-plan-for-weight-loss.html
Fitness Magazine, http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/