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How Much Exercise Do You Really Need to Get in Shape?
How much exercise do you *actually really* need to become fit?
Twenty minutes three times per week? Half-hour per day?
And how much is too much?
Do you need to sweat it out for an hour or more every day?
Let’s explore what is considered the ideal amount of exercise. Ideal for your health and wellness. Ideal for getting into shape.
Starting with the minimum.
WHAT’S THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF EXERCISE?
Of course, you’re going to have to start from where you are right now. If you’re not already exercising regularly, there is no need to go overboard. Honestly, trying too much too soon may throw off/sidetrackyour motivation, and become the reason you just throw in the towel and stop exercising.
Let’s say you’re not that active (yet). What if I were to recommend “ten to twenty minutes every other day at a level you think you can do?” How does that sound as a starting point?
If you’re not training for a competition, you can absolutely move towards and achieve your fitness goals with this plan!
This is a process. It all takes time. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself. The time will pass and when the next season comes around you will see improvements regarding your overall strength and fitness!
Yes, you can!
HOW TO DESIGN YOUR EXERCISE PLAN
Let’s keep it real, there’s no one-and-done method to fitness. The main rule is to begin – where you are. Take note of your personalfitness level and goals and increase and improve slowly. There areno quick fixes that will give you lasting long-term results.
Always consider what is reasonably sustainable for you, based on:
- What is your long-term fitness goal?
- What else is going on in your life (i.e. how much time do you really have)?
- What is your current state of fitness?
We won’t stop here! Let’s continue!
As you create a sustainable exercise habit, it will start getting easier. So, don’t forget to make it a bit more challenging as you go. Every week do something to push yourself a bit farther than you were before. If you’re strength training, do another repetition or grab the next heavier weight. If you’re doing cardio, go a bit longer, farther, and/or faster.
A great motivational tool is to log your workouts. A simple notepad or workbook (or app) will do! Just enter your reps, sets, and/or times each time you workout. This will not only help you to keep your momentum, but it will also help you see where you can squeeze in that extra challenge as you progress.
After several weeks you can stop and evaluate. Will you keep going the way you are, ramp it up, or change it completely? Eventually, you will find yourself getting stronger, and more fit!
DON’T FORGET YOUR NUTRITION
While exercise is very, very good for your health, wellness, and longevity, it’s not the only thing to consider. What you eat is going to have as big, or bigger, an impact on your fitness!
Some of my favorite simple tips that give you the biggest “bang for your buck” are:
- Eat more veggies
- Swap the soda for water
- Cut out treats and sweets and replace them with your favorite fruit! There are lots to choose from!
- Reduce or eliminate red meats, dairy, and processed foods
- Eat slower and savor it more by chewing each bite of food more thoroughly
- Carry around healthy (unsweetened fiber-rich) snacks like nuts, fruit, and berries
You don’t need to exercise like crazy to get fit. I assure you! But you do need to do the following:
- Start from where you are and don’t go overboard.
- If you’re a beginner, that means 10-20 minutes every other day at an easy level.
- Log your workout progress to track improvements and keep motivated.
- Slowly increase the difficulty every week as you get stronger and fitter.
- Don’t forget to eat your fruits and veggies, reduce or eliminate red meats, dairy, processed foods
- Talk with your doctor before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program.
- Make an appointment to chat with me (your health coach) on how I can support you in getting to your desired fitness level)
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