We often think of exercise as a means to an end. We want to lose weight: exercise. We want to get a six-pack or tone our bottoms: exercise.
But your body also needs exercise as a maintenance practice in order to function at its optimal level.
And jumping ahead and trying to do too much too soon can lead to injury, frustration, or burnout.
“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” -Lao Tzu
Here are a few small but crucial steps to success.
✔️ Be consistent
A successful exercise plan is one that you can stick to. Select activities you like and invite a friend to join you. Aim for at least 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week if you’re trying to lose weight. That translates into about 35 minutes each day.
When you start losing weight, you must protect your muscles. If you begin to lose pounds without adding in weight lifting, you will likely lose up to 25% of your muscle mass. Also, after an intense weight lifting workout targeting at least 3 big muscles, your metabolism increases for up to 39 hours after you are finished. And repairing that muscle tissue after lifting requires energy!
✔️ Move your whole body
Speaking of squats and pushups, devote most of your workout sessions to exercises that target your whole body. They’ll burn more calories than smaller movements like bicep curls.
✔️ Train in intervals
High-intensity interval training pays off. Alternate between brief bursts of intense activity and even briefer rest periods. For example, run for a few minutes while you’re taking a walk.
✔️ Get some accountability
The single biggest determiner of your fitness success is whether or not you have an accountability partner, coach, trainer, class, whatever!
Which small steps can you implement today? Let us know in the comments below!