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Losing Weight After 30: The routine

Low-impact, moderate heart-rate activities should be part of your routine
Low-impact, moderate heart-rate activities should be part of your routine
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Losing Weight After 30: The routine

Have you set your goals? Before you make major changes to your diet and eating habits, I recommend you get into a lifestyle of physical fitness.

A lot of people will tell you the key to weight loss is truly diet, and that’s kind of true, kind of not, but I actually recommend getting your workout routine nailed down first. I’ll explain why in a moment.

The first habit you need to cultivate is working out 6 days a week.

Now there is some flexibility in what you DO on those 6 days, but it should consist of 3 things:

  • 2 days of low impact, moderate heart rate activity for at least an hour
  • 2 days of high impact, high heart rate cardio. Sweat for no less than 30 minutes (not including warm up and cool down)
  • 2 days of resistance training (lifting weights) 30 minutes each, or 1 day of 1 hour.
  • 1 rest day, or 2 rest days if you do 1 hour block resistance training

Here’s my schedule for the week:

  • Monday: Power Yoga, 1 hour
  • Tuesday: Upper body resistance training, 30 minutes
  • Wednesday: Zumba, 1 hour
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Yoga for weight loss, 1 hour
  • Saturday: Precor Climber 45 minutes, treadmill 15 minutes
  • Sunday: Lower body resistance training, 30 minutes

My rest day moves from week to week, and truth be told, I rarely make it to the gym 6 days a week, but I make sure I do SOMETHING 6 days a week.

So choose your workout. I do yoga because I love it, but if you don’t, try to find something comparable. Your gym might offer a body flow class or Tai Chi or some other martial art. A Curves circuit counts. My cardio of choice is dancing. I can’t run more than 1.5 miles because of a bad knee, but maybe jogging is your heaven! Resistance training is pretty straight forward. Schedule time with a trainer if you have not used free weights and machines before. Use both. Mix it up. Make sure you work opposing muscle groups (i.e. do chest AND back).

So why do I say hit the gym instead of stop eating potatoes? Two major reasons:

1. A strict diet often causes feelings of deprivation and may not be sustainable due to discouragement. Working out balances these physio-psycho feelings by making you feel physically and emotionally good. It also puts you in the “mood” to be healthy. Rarely do I crave a donut after yoga class.

2. What you are working for is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. Don’t try to alter too much about your lifestyle at once. For now, keep eating what you eat, in the same quantity, but add a lifestyle of activity. Because diet is more about choice, and working out is more about habit, I suggest you set your lifestyle up for success by increasing the regularity of your physical activity. It will be easier to change your CHOICES than your HABITS.

There are a myriad of things improved by working out that you won’t SEE immediately, but when you start sleeping better, thinking better, feeling happier more often, and you like your odds in the zombie apocalypse, maybe you’ll believe that this habit is truly worthwhile.

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