How I'm Doing It: Increasing Your Exercise

Jenny's Journey

I get a lot of questions about what specifically I have done to lose weight and get fit, so, I'm going to spend some time with a series of blog posts that does just that. This is the second in the series on exercise. 

OK! So you've had success, you've been working out a few times a week, you are lifting a little- where do you go from here?

Again, slow and steady progress to me is the key. So, here are what I would classify as intermediate level workouts:

1. Cardio for 30 minutes, 5-6 days per week. This includes any of the aforementioned cardio like using the elliptical, biking, walking, yoga and swimming. At this point, I would try to add in a little higher impact exercise at least one day a week. This could something as simple as stepping up your existing elliptical routine. Maybe doing higher resistance and incline or going for longer time. It could also mean adding new challenges like running or the stairmaster. In my opionion, the stairmaster (or just walking and running flights of stairs) is one of the best cardio workouts you can do. It burns a large amount of calories in a short time and helps build stamina. It is now my cardio gym equipment of choice.

2. Get outside or get in a class. The outside activities you can do are endless. I started by hiking in the nine degree, winter weather this January with my dogs. Gradually increasing the distance hiked and the amount of hilly terrain is a great way to keep expanding over time. Gym fitness classes are also great. Classes like yoga, Zumba, body sculpting, or water aerobics are all low to moderate exertion classes that can be good for beginners.

3. Lift weights. Again, you can do this anywhere from 1-3 times per week. You can continue to do 2 sets of 10 reps or just bump your weight up by 5-10 pounds every month or so.

So, again, the key is to build up over time and not take it too fast! We don't want injuries and we don't want to get burnt out. As always, before starting or increasing an exercise program, it's best to consult your primary care provider. 

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