Every day I read about a new kind of workout that promises to revolutionize our lives and burn trillions of calories, but unless you are a dedicated gym-goer (if you are, we applaud you!), most of us are just trying to find a routine that we enjoy, have time for and will stick to. And it’s hard, especially if you’re just starting out as I mentioned in my last post. But it doesn’t have to be and the health benefits from even light to moderate exercise are astronomical. This is especially important if you’re trying to conceive as weight is the number one factor contributing to fertility issues.
I wanted to answer a handful of baseline FAQ’s about exercise routines that you might find helpful. I know there are plenty more so if feel free to email me at Carolyn@CLTWellness.com or leave it in the comments if there is anything more specific you’ve been wondering about.
1) I don’t have time to exercise. How can I fit it into my already packed day?
Finding the time to work out can seem impossible given all of our commitments but I promise you, you can find 30 minutes in your day - even if it’s 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there. Start by writing down what your typical day looks like from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, and see where you can re-prioritize and add in more movement. Including family and friends in your exercise routine can kill two birds with one stone. Take family walks or a workout class with a girlfriend instead of grabbing dinner.
2) I have trouble staying motivated to workout. What can I do try and stick to a routine?
We’ve definitely all been there - we are SO good for like a week or two and then all of a sudden, we drop off and start avoiding the gym. The two biggest factors to adhering to an exercise routine are:
- Working out at a time and place that is convenient for you. If it’s adding more stress to your day, it’s not sustainable. Waking up at the crack of dawn day after day or going too far out of your way to get to the gym is probably not going to become routine. Find a time and place that works for you.
You dread your workout or you find yourself getting bored. This is crucial - if you hate running, don’t run! There are so many other workouts out there. And be sure to mix it up - keeping it fresh will keep you coming back. Group fitness classes can also be a great way to stay motivated, try new workouts and get into a routine.
3) What time of day is best to work out?
The short answer is whatever time you can commit to working out. The is no time that is significantly better for you than another, so it really is whatever you can manage. Generally speaking, working out the morning before the day gets too hectic is the best way to make sure you get some exercise in, but everyone is different. Just find what works for you.
4) How many days a week and for how long should I be working out?
This totally depends on your current fitness level, any health issues you may have and what your goals are, but general exercise guidelines state that 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous cardio, 5 days a week is optimal for health - ideally with 2-3 days of strength training layered on top. If you’re just starting out, don’t psych yourself out, you don’t need to be able to run 30 minutes right out of the gate. Start small and work your way up.
5) Can I target a specific area to lose weight in?
Unfortunately, doing a million crunches everyday won’t help you lose weight around your midsection. Weight loss requires cardio exercise to get your heart rate above a certain level to burn calories from carbs and fat.