First of all, set some goals for yourself; short, manageable goals. Write out your goals for tomorrow, next week, next month... and place them in a spot that you see every day. This will help you stay motivated and moving towards those things you want in your life.
When thinking of exercise, I want you to focus on three aspects of your workouts – Time, Intensity, and Type.
Time will increase as you get stronger and fitter. Begin working towards 30 minutes of continuous aerobic exercise. If 30 minutes seems too much at the beginning, break your workouts into 2 or 3 bouts throughout the day, making sure that each session is at least 10 minutes. Aerobic exercise is aimed to increase your heart rate, burn calories and strengthen your muscles.
Intensity is individualized and difficult to track. How much is too much? A workout isn’t beneficial if you spend the next few days recovering from your treadmill session. However, if you’re not pushing yourself enough, you’re not getting the benefits! When starting an exercise program, use the “Talk Test”. As you exercise, you should be able to have a conversation, but you couldn’t sing if you had to. This is an estimate of the intensity you should be working towards.
The best type of exercise is the kind you enjoy and will do! Aerobic exercise includes walking, running, riding a bike, kayaking, playing soccer with your kids, hiking, etc. The type of exercise doesn’t matter as much as the time and effort you put into it.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the ultimate exercise goal is 30 to 60 minutes of activity, most days of the week. Let’s start working towards it!