I was reminded recently that some of my readers are just starting exercise. You’re enjoying the nutrition tips, and lifestyle flips, but haven’t yet made the commitment to regular exercise. So this is for you. Read this short post on the basics. Start with one step. You do want weight training but it doesn’t all have to come at once. If you want some guided support for 4 weeks in April, the 28-day kick start is filling now. Class begins with early info for bonuses next week.
How do you start?
A solid foundation is necessary for anything. For fitness, building the base begins with consistent steady exercise. This kind of aerobic conditioning base is reflected by the recommended 10K steps a day and guidelines to get 30 minutes of activity five days a week.
These are each an excellent first step before or excellent supplement to a 3 times a week 30 minutes at steady state. Once you’re able to do that consistently for several weeks, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Of course, there are all kinds of ways to evaluate whether you’re at this level. With the advent of interval training however many skip this initial base building. Understand that skipping a solid fitness 1`foundation, just like a house, leaves you with problems later.
During this phase:
Walk three times a week (or your equivalent of elliptical, bike, etc.) for 30 minutes
How do you progress?
Introduce more frequency, duration, intensity and interval training. That doesn’t mean your steady state exercise will disappear completely, however.
It’s easy to be caught up in the desire to have results faster and buy into the fat burning potential of high intensity interval training. While, intervals can be appropriate for almost everyone, even elite athletes use a large percent of their training time in steady state base building. The amount of your total training time spent doing interval training, that is, of high enough intensity to truly increase fat burning, is relatively small in comparison to the base training time.
Compare interval training to taking supplements. Supplements don’t replace a diet rich in nutrients, they enhance your diet with vitamins and minerals you’re potentially low in. Likewise, you can’t interval train only without a regular active life and lower level of aerobic activity most days of the week.
During this phase:
- Increase your low level exercise duration by taking longer walks, hikes, or bike rides on 1-2 days a week
- Include more activities you wouldn’t think of as exercise (gardening, house cleaning) – this Non Exercise Activity Time (N.E.A.T.) counts as much or more toward your total energy expenditure
- Introduce interval training in the middle of your 30-minute sessions (e.g. do 30 second bursts of higher intensity with speed or incline alternated with 1-2 minutes of recovery during minutes 10-20)