Women have different needs than men when it comes to working out. Some key factors to a successful program are consistency, convenience, enjoyment and feeling good. You have to be consistent each week to achieve results and making sure to work out at a convenient time or place will increase the chances of maintaining consistency. There has to be a little bit of enjoyment to want to continue, so get rid of the "all or nothing" mentality and plan to just move a few times a week, and feel good about your accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Stop looking at the scale everyday and focus more on how good you are feeling.
Find a partner that you enjoy and get to work. Together you can do personal training sessions, walk, train for a 5K, go to the gym or take a class. Exercising is always more fun with a buddy and great motivation. You will likely push yourselves harder and make each other accountable, which will make you more consistent and results will come faster. You can discuss nutrition and keep your partner in check with healthy eating as well.
Pilates gives you a toned body, stronger core, better posture, slimmer legs and more flexibility. You walk out of class feeling taller, stronger and more confident. You can find classes everywhere now and classes with the machines have become more widely available. A Pilates mat class is just as beneficial, and can be tougher than one with machines since you rely solely on your own body for strength, balance and stability. Look for a certified instructor, so that you receive a well-balanced and safe program.
Many times we get into one mode of training and we hit a plateau, especially with our cardiovascular workout. Interval training shakes things up, while offering an intense workout and pushing you past plateau. For example, if you usually go for a walk or jog, after warming up, power walk or sprint for three minutes, then return to a normal walk for one minute. Repeat this four or five times to complete a 20 minute workout. This can be done on an elliptical, or other exercise machines. You can also adjust the interval times and intensity to suit your schedule and goals. You should feel a great rush, but pace yourself and listen to your body.
Boot camp style classes, sometimes called circuit training, are great calorie burners that also build strength and endurance. These are intense classes and take time to build up your fitness level if you are a beginner. You will go from one exercise to the next, with very little rest in between, including squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, weight training, jumping jacks and other cardio intervals. You will gain amazing benefits from this workout, boosting confidence and metabolism. It is important to pace yourself, get water and rest when needed. Enjoy the challenge.