Exercise is one of the most talked-about subjects in the world, and likely a source of much procrastination as well. If you’re trying to maximize the results of your exercise routine, it may seem like a guessing game as to the right amount of exercise you need to lose weight.
Wondering how to find that perfect balance? One thing that is often a result of creating unrealistic goals for yourself is an unmanageable degree of discouragement, which can ultimately cause you to fizzle out on your workout routine.
With a busy life, it’s probably tough to squeeze in the needed time to lose the weight you want. Taking a more practical, time-oriented approach, though, can help you find the perfect balance for your lifestyle, as well as hone in on the types of exercise that will have the greatest impact in the long run.
Calculating the Time You Need to Make a Difference
Exercising at any length can benefit you, as long as it doesn’t go below the number of calories you take in every day.
A major defeat in the daily exercise mentality is continuing to eat more than the exercise you put in. To get started, you need to find an exercise you can realistically do. Running eight miles might sound successful to burn calories, but can you realistically do that? Maybe on day one. But how about the next day? And the next?
If not, you can do plenty of other exercises to bring the same results. You’ll just need to calculate how much time you’ll need when doing each one. First, you’ll need to establish a realistic time budget for yourself. What days of your week present easy ‘wins’ in terms of pockets of time you have available to go to the gym, go for a walk outside, or engage in more high-intensity activities such as structured sports and outdoor training? Once you identify this ‘low hanging fruit’, you’ll want to craft a loose schedule around this. Write it down somewhere. For most people, simply making a Word document or even an Excel spreadsheet in calendar format helps you to visualize and manage the plan. And remember, this is a loose schedule at first. Life may intervene and cause you to pivot, and even fall off track for emergencies, but mentally speaking, if it’s worth writing on your fridge door, it’s worth fighting for!
Using Cardio Workouts to Lose Weight
While you’ll find a lot of debates about whether cardio can help you lose weight fast, it truly can with the proper time management. All health experts note you need 30 to 45 minutes of a moderate-intensity workout to see any real weight loss.
It works more efficiently when you can alternate between high-intensity and low-intensity workouts daily. What’s important is to keep your cardio training going at least three to five days per week. Even something as simple as walking can work if you’re just starting. Just keep in mind you’ll have to do it for up to 45 minutes to see any physical results.
High-Intensity Interval Training
You’ll find many sources saying high-intensity interval training does a better job at helping you lose weight than cardio workouts. If you’re physically able to take on workouts like this, your body will acclimate and be prepared for more physical challenges.
High-intensity interval training, known as HIIT, forces your heart to take on increasingly intense workouts to a point where your body starts to adjust.
Studies in Australia showed interval training (which alternates between high-intensity and low-intensity exercises) burned three times more calories compared to continuous workouts. These are worth doing in controlled amounts if your heart is healthy enough.
Is it possible to lose weight with weight training? Yes, and many diet experts note that weight training can burn significantly more calories. The reason for this is it recruits the most muscles in your body to help burn fat faster.
By doing strength training, you’re also creating more lean muscle mass, which is going to make you look better overall. Basically, the more muscle mass you create, the higher your base metabolic rate (Check out our blog to learn more about your resting metabolic rate). Now, you can lose weight faster with a higher metabolism, even if you do eat more after your strength training sessions.
Combining strength training with cardio is the best bet for a truly successful weight loss plan. Doing so, though, is going to mean about 45 minutes to 60 minutes three to five times a week.
At Fit Farm at Rock Springs, we’ll help establish the right exercise plan for you and keep you focused so you retrain your body and mind to keep the weight off forever. For more information, reach out to our team today!