Notice that I didn’t use the word “exercise” which generates fear and anxiety for many people. We all know that movement burns calories and builds muscle and is a vital part of your journey.
Are you willing to commit to a minimum of 30-minutes of movement five-days a week? (More if you can!) I often hear “I don’t have time” …but want to challenge you on that. Do you spend 30-minutes a day on social media, the internet, or watching TV? We make time for things that are important. If one of your loved ones got cancer, you would make time to go to those appointments. We must make our own health that important!
A good reminder is to tell yourself “I am choosing to exercise/move” (which adds personal responsibility) instead of “I have to exercise/move” (which takes the locus of control outside yourself.
A great way to structure your commitment to movement is three-days a week of cardiovascular exercise – something that gets your heart rate up so that you are comfortably out of breath, also known as a “conversational pace.” We often say you should be able to “talk but not sing.” Find something you enjoy, like speed-walking with your dog, walking uphill on a treadmill listening to a good podcast or audiobook, Zumba, or tennis.
And we also need to add two to three days of strength training to improve or at least maintain muscle mass. I personally do 30-minutes of strength training twice a week with a trainer to keep me focused. If you have the means, consider investing in a Peloton bike or treadmill, which comes with countless video classes for both cardio and strength training. Since Covid, thousands of great online options for strength training classes have been created – pick one that sounds fun to you.
Consider exercising in the fasting state in the morning to maximize your fat loss. I know it goes against what we were taught, but weight loss science now supports exercising moderately in the fasting state in order to push ourselves into using fat for fuel.