Beginner’s Guide To Start A Successful Exercise Plan
You want to start an exercise plan and lose weight. Where do you start? How and what exercises should you do? To be perfectly honest I don’t have one straight answer for all of you because an exercise plan varies based on your age, fitness level, time you have and more.
So what I’ll be sharing with you today is the foundation for beginners to start a simple and effective exercise plan. This might sound complicated, but once you know the basic and build from there, it is not difficult and it can be really exciting.
I’m going to try to keep it really simple, so I’m going to break it down into 5 simple steps.
1. Assess Your Situation
Only you know what’s best for yourself. So the questions to ask are:
How much time can you dedicate to exercising? How many days in a week? What time of the day?
If you can dedicate one hour of exercising everyday, that’s great. However, if you can dedicate only 15-30 minutes a day, that is absolutely fine as well.
Working out for a longer period of time, doesn’t necessarily mean quicker or better results. Instead, it is about how consistent and efficient your workout is, in order to achieve the best results.
For instance if you’re a busy, working mother, and you can only spend 10-20 minutes every day, well… start with that! A short workout is better than none. No matter how short your workout is, you will still be burning calories and you will still build lean muscles.
So whatever your time commitment is, work with that, stay consistent and have discipline. Successes do come with hard work, determination and giving yourself no excuses.
Before you start a workout program you need to be physically and mentally ready and willing to make changes in your life. Another common question is:
Again, this goes back to assessing your situation. There is no such thing as “the best time to workout”. Workout when it is most convenient to you, because then you are more likely to stick to your routine.
So start by assessing your situation and see how you can make small changes in your lifestyle. I am not asking you to take drastic measures or to make huge sacrifices, but to work with the situation, adapt and create a workout time that is most efficient for you.
Now that you know your commitment and you’re ready to make changes, the next step is to figure out what exercises should you do?
2. What Exercises Should You Do?
This can be the confusing part. A typical workout should start with a warm up, the actual workout and end with a cool down. For beginners it is important to work on total body workouts focusing on major muscles to burn fat, build lean muscles and lose weight efficiently.
It is important to know that we can not spot reduce fat! This means doing 100 crunches every single day will not give you a flat belly. Instead, doing total body workouts, focusing on all major muscles including your core will help to burn belly fat and to give you a flat tummy.
What is the difference between strength training and cardio?
Strength training or weight lifting are exercises aimed at improving your strength and to build lean muscles. Strength training is important because the more lean muscles you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be and your body will be burning fat more efficiently even when you’re at rest. This include squats, lunges, pushups, tricep dips, pull ups and more.
Cardio or aerobics are exercises that are intense enough to increase your breathing and heart rate at a continuous and consistent pace. Cardio exercises are important to increase stamina, to burn calories and excess fat from the body. This include running, cycling, swimming, hiking, dancing and more.
A combination of both cardio and strength training is key to losing weight and also to achieve quicker results. If you do your workout on alternate days (3-4 times weekly), then combine both cardio and strength training into each session.