One of the greatest compliments I receive is that I'm an inspiration to someone trying to lose weight. I love knowing I inspire others! I lost weight completely for myself, to be healthy for me, but it's amazing to hear that other people see me as inspiration. So, I thought it would be a good idea to start a weekly fitness/ healthy lifestyle motivation post ... Motivational Monday. I'm not a health or fitness expert by any means, but I can give you advice and motivation based on what worked for me. I hope you enjoy this new series!
I thought I would kick off the series with how I got started on a fitness routine. Everyone needs to begin somewhere, right?
I joined the gym at the end of April 2012. Other than walking my dogs twice a day for about 20 minutes each time, I had not been working out at all. Because I didn't know how many calories to burn or what goals to set for myself, I also started using the My Fitness Pal app on my iPad and iPhone to help me set those. My goal to lose the amount of weight I wanted was to burn 277 calories with cardio each time I went to the gym. I thought that sounded easy enough!
To begin with, I went to the gym six days a week. I worked out on the elliptical trainer for 35 minutes and usually burned around 330 calories at first. I used the "manual" setting on the elliptical and could only work out at the first level, but would eventually force myself to move the resistance level up for a challenge. I would alternate some days with walking on the treadmill at an incline to burn around the same amount of calories. Burning of calories was my goal, not the time, so I would go for as long as I need to so I would burn those 330 or so calories. I would also do the weight machines they had at the gym twice a week.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend working out six days a week. I'll admit that I'm a gym addict (since I was just called that on Saturday!), but I do think four days a week is a good place to start. You don't want to burn yourself out by going too often, but you need to go often enough to make a difference. And I highly recommend using a fitness app like My Fitness Pal to help set goals and track what you're eating and your exercise. It will set help set goals for your calories intake, your sugar intake, carbs, protein, and of course, exercise. And do get in daily exercise like walking the dog. It helps on those days off! Also, have a set routine. I highly recommend a routine; it helps you stick with it! Go to the gym at the same time every day if you can.
So that's how I started. 35 minutes of cardio to burn around 330 calories six days a week along with weights. Good luck!