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Pillar No. 3: Exercise Well, Be Well


So it’s been established that exercise has incredible benefits for your body, your brain and everything in between, but with so much said out there about exercise and “The Ultimate Workout Program” you’re left with your head spinning before you even pick up a weight!

Well today we’re going to be covering how to workout with the general goal of weight loss and muscle building. Not in the “Arnold Schwarzenegger” sense… But more of an “every day I just want to look and feel good” approach. You just need to do 4 simple things.

1. Start moving
First thing’s first. You need to start moving and you need to start moving now. Just do it. I don’t care what it is. A little bit of something is better than nothing at all. Remember that.

2. What kind of exercise?
Everyone’s always asking, “what kind of exercise is the best?” When you’re exercising to lose fat there are 2 essential components. The first is to burn calories and the simplest way to do that is with AEROBIC EXERCISE such as walking, jogging, running or biking. But if you only do aerobic exercise then you’ll lose muscle mass, which will lower your metabolism and your results won’t show as fast. So you’ll need to do something that will preserve muscle to keep your metabolism high and your fat burning faster. This brings us to our second component: RESISTANCE EXERCISE. This can include weights, body weight training, or circuit training. So if you want to lose the most fat and preserve muscle, or even build muscle, you’ll have to do some aerobic and resistance exercise.

3. How much exercise?
Simple answer: 5 hours a week. A study done at the University of Wyoming looked at 1500 people who exercised regularly. What they found was that those who exercised at least 5 hours were most satisfied with their bodies whereas those who exercised less didn’t get the results they were hoping for. Now if you’re at around 5 hours per week on average, all you’ll have to do is up the volume a bit, but for those of you that are doing less – maybe no exercise at all, you’ll have to approach this differently. Let me begin with what you DON’T do: do NOT jump to 5 hours right away. It’s simply too much and you’ll need to ease into it by doing a little more than what you’re currently doing. The ONLY thing to do, if you’re not doing any exercise right now or very little, is to focus on moving a little more and exercising an hour or two each week. Once that has become a solid habit begin to gradually increase your workout volume until you reach 5 hours each week, doing both aerobic and resistance exercises.

4. Progressive Overload
What is “Progressive Overload”? Well, it is THE most important thing you will ever learn about exercise for weight loss. Simply put, it means regularly challenging yourself to do a little more or a little better. For example, if you went for a 10 minute yesterday, then go for 11 minute jog today. If you listed 50 pounds at your last workout, lift 55 pounds at today’s workout. That is progressive overload. Be sure to write down what you do every time you do physical activity, so that next time you do more or better, even if it’s just the smallest bit. It’s really powerful and incredibly easy.

Train, workout, and mix it up!