Weekly Wellness: How often should you exercise to lose weight?
COLUMBIA - Here we go. We're wrapping up the holiday season of eating and drinking and preparing to do the ever-popular (and then fast-forgotten) "what's my resolution?" game. For most of us, we will be uttering those words heard 'round the world - "I'm going to start exercising (again)!"
But how much do you need to exercise to reach your goals? It can be confusing, right? Are you supposed to exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week? Or are you supposed to exercise for 45 minutes a day, 3 days a week? Or are you supposed to exercise every day? What's the magic schedule?
Well, there really isn't a cookie-cutter schedule that works for everyone. Every body is different and the factors and variables surrounding every body are different too. What's your age? What's your current level of fitness? Do you have any health issues? Do you have any physical limitations? What are your goals?
Here are some good tips to keep in mind while you're getting started with your new and improved exercise routine:
- Don't get bored. Do different types of workouts, with different intensity, etc. If you're someone who walks for your exercise, add weights! If you're someone who only lifts weights, do some cardio! Variety is not only good for keeping boredom at bay but it's good for your body too.
- Remember that building muscle is important. Try to incorporate strength training into your routine at least three times a week. Remember: the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn.
- Exercise is important but so are sleep and nutrition. It's recommended that most humans need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. And even if you're getting enough sleep and exercising daily, if you're still eating all your meals at the drive-thru, you're probably not on the right path.
The take-away here is this: What works for you may not work for me, but the most important thing is to WORK.
If you need help with getting into a fitness routine or need assistance with your nutrition, contact a certified personal trainer or certified health coach to help you.