There is so much confusion about where to start with exercise. What burns the most fat, gets you the fittest, gives you the most energy etc... so how do you choose?
Here is a simple 5 step process to get you started:
- Just move. Start doing something, preferably something you enjoy (or dislike the least!!). Something that fits into your lifestyle and takes only 3-4 minutes, 3-4 days of the week. This way it won't stress you for time. Don't make it too intense so that you completely run out of steam. We need to form a habit of exercise, and going too hard too soon risks burning out before the habit is formed.
- Move more. After a period of time, when you feel comfortable with the simple program and you are sticking with it, try to do the same exercise but GO HARD for shorter periods, but more often. A 5-10 second burst (repeated when you get your breath back) is a great way to start. Try this for just 1 minute, but try and do it daily!
- Move more often. Aim to do a few repeat 'sets' of the 5-10 second GO HARD bursts. Instead of just doing one minute, do 3 lots of one minute. Allow yourself some time in between these sets so your heart rate can drop to a reasonable rate before jumping back up again.
- Move quicker. Aim to go faster over the same distance or further in the same time. It doesn't matter what you are doing, but make sure at this stage you are MEASURING your abilities. A simple stopwatch is the best investment you can make.
- Move differently. Our bodies are sneaky things, always adapting to what we do. To keep progressing your fitness and body results, start introducing new activities. There are endless possibilities from sports, cardio machines, boxing, swimming, cycling, mini-tramp, hula hooping... variety stops boredom and keeps the body changing. Whenever you start a new activity, start from number 3 on the process.
Remember, a fit body burns fat faster, so your goal should be to get fit, and not focus on fat loss. Results do not come from how long you move but from how puffed you get!! To take the system even further, you can add a heart rate monitor into your training and set heart rate goals (e.g. 85-95% of maximum heat rate).
Most importantly - have fun!!