Losing weight can help you feel better physically and mentally, but it's important that you slim down in a healthy way, with a balanced diet and regular exercise program. Life can be busy though, making it a struggle to fit exercise into your schedule. If you can't spare a large amount of time once a day for exercise, it may be easier for you to do shorter sessions three times a day.
Aim to perform exercise for a minimum of 10 minutes at least three times daily. The American Heart Associate recommends a minimum of 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity, or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week -- about 30 minutes five days a week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that breaking that half hour down to smaller increments will still afford you the benefit of the exercise. If you can put in more time and effort, that's even better.
Decide what types of exercise will benefit you the most and help you to safely lose the most amount of weight. The type of body shape you have can aid in determining what types of exercise will be best for you, according to Shape. If you have an apple shaped body with excess weight around the waist and tummy, you should focus on cardio, such as jogging, along with ab-toning exercise. Those with a pear shape, with extra weight around the buttocks, hips and thighs should try aerobic exercises, such as biking. If you have an hourglass shape, with curves around the hips and bust, you could do some aerobics, like swimming or rowing, along with upper-body strength training, which could include bench pressing or tricep extensions. If you're plus-sized, you should focus on a combination of cardio and strength-training exercises.
Sign up for an exercise class that you can attend in the morning before your busy day gets started. Exercise in the morning can rev up your metabolism, give you more energy and help improve your mood and concentration. Working out in a group or class can give you the opportunity to learn more about various types of exercise and it can keep you motivated and accountable. Classes could include aerobics, spinning, dancing, circuit training or swimming.
Use your lunch break to get in some more exercise. If you have enough time, you could hit the gym for some additional cardio or you could simply put on your sneakers and go for a long walk. Walking is a simple, moderate exercise that, according to the American Heart Association, can improve blood sugar levels and blood pressure, enhance mental well-being, reduce the risk or Type 2 diabetes and lower the risk of obesity. Walking at a brisk pace can burn up to 360 calories in as little as 30 minutes, according to Fitness for Weight Loss.
Build your muscles and improve your health by adding some strength training into your exercise routine in the evening. Resistance training can improve strength, reduce the risk of diabetes, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and improve your overall cardiovascular health, according to the American Council on Exercise. It will also burn calories, thus helping with your weight loss. Strength training includes using free weights, weight machines and resistance tubing. You can also use your body, with little or no equipment, to strength train at home, with exercises like pullups, situps, pushups and leg squats.
Share your workout plan with your family and friends, so that they can encourage you and keep you motivated.
Consult with your health care provider before starting any weight-loss or exercise program, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Losing Weight
- American Heart Association: When is the Best Time of Day to Work Out?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Shape: The Best Workout for Your Body Type
- Shape: Make Weight Loss a Group (Class) Effort
- American Heart Association: The Benefits of Walking
- The American Council on Exercise: Strength Training Benefits More than Muscles
- Fitness for Weight Loss: How Many Calories Will I Burn Walking 30 Minutes?