Everywhere you go you hear phrases like, “if you exercise you will lose weight,” “maybe you should take the stairs,” “you should take a daily walk” or “you should get a gym membership.” The truth is the statements are true, to a point. Exercise is important, but just walking around the corner or taking that set of stairs is not going to work alone.
When exercising for weight loss, it is important to get your heart rate up and burn more calories than your body stores during the day. The very best way to ensure that you are going to accomplish both, getting your heart rate up and burning calories, is to schedule your workout and do it!
Getting your heart rate up will also cause you to breath harder which will help make your heart and your lungs stronger. My favorite way to determine my heart rate is to use the RPE scale (Rate of perceived exertion scale), which is where 1 is when you are at rest, 2 is very light activity, 5 is somewhat hard, 7 is hard, and 10 is your max exertion. Often times when you get to level 10 you get into the anaerobic zone and barely able to breathe. For most exercises I recommend you stay between a 6 & 9. Especially if you are only working out three days a week, if you are at 5 or 6 days a week you can have one or two of those days around a 4 or 5. With all these numbers, I’ll go over the RPE again for you – 1 is rest, 2 very light, 3 light, 4 fairly light, 5 somewhat hard, 6 hard, 7 hard/heavy, 8 very hard, 9 extremely hard and 10 max exertion. The higher the intensity you work out at (or higher you are on the scale of 1-10) the more calories you are going to burn. The more calories you burn the more fat you will lose.
By burning calories through intense workouts, you will burn those extra fat calories that your body is holding onto.
This will not happen just my thinking about it, you actually have to put forth the effort. This is why it is so important that you schedule your workouts and stick to your schedule. The easiest way to ensure you will stick to them is by making sure you are scheduling them at an uninterrupted time.
If you have busy afternoons, schedule your workout in the morning…or vice versa. I prefer mornings before everyone else wakes up. Yes that means I’m up early but guess what, I get it done. I do not have meetings, places to be or shopping to do at 4am. Plus, I have so much energy after my workout that it last all day. I do not feel sluggish in the afternoon and still have tons of energy when it’s time to cook supper. If you are up later than everyone else, you could workout at night. For you night exercisers, pay attention to how well you sleep afterward; exercise is known to give you energy which can cause a lack of sleep.
Finding the perfect time may take some trial and error, but that is okay. Try one time slot, if it doesn’t work try a new one.