Friday, March 7, 2008

Can you find the time?

A couple of weeks ago I talked about losing weight by creating a calorie deficit through proper food intake. Exercise is a great way to burn more calories. Here are some facts that will help you establish a exercise program that works in less than thirty minutes three days a week.

The Facts

    Twenty minutes of light to moderate exercise three days a week is sufficient for a person who is just beginning a program

    Your body is designed to become efficient at exercise. It accomplishes this by building muscle and increasing your cardiovascular abilities(Good), which allows the body to burn less calories during exercise(Bad).

The perfect exercise program takes these facts into consideration and plans for the exercise plateaus that are caused when your body becomes efficient at an exercise. An exercise program is made up of four components; mode of exercise, intensity, time and days. The only way to break an exercise plateau is to change one of those four components.

For people who are just starting to exercise I recommend picking an exercise that is easy on the joints and low intensity, like walking, biking or an elliptical machine. The exercise should be preformed for 20 minutes 3 days a week. After 2 -3 weeks the body will get used to this exercise and start burning less calories.

If you are working out in a gym the simplest way to challenge your body and increase the number of calories burned is to change the mode of exercise. If you are working out at home you can still change your mode of exercise by using exercise videos, walking, running, wii boxing (you laugh, but have you tried it?), biking, jump rope, etc.

I have been using these principals for 10 years. I gained over 60 pounds with each of my pregnancies and lost the weight each time by starting with 20 minutes of exercise 3 days a week. I spend three weeks on the elliptical, followed by three weeks on a bike, and three weeks on a stair stepper. Next I go back to the elliptical and increase my time to 25 minutes or increase my intensity for three weeks and rotate through the machines again.

These principals work because they are proven, and not just by me. I have put into practice what I learned 10 years ago from Neil Spruce of Apex Fitness.

Go here to see how other bloggers are Fighting the Frump.


Melody said...

Only 20 minutes? Three times a week? I can totally do that! LOL!

The Sports Mama said...

I really want to keep liking you, Amy. Really I do. But you are making it difficult. :)

Exercise is Evil. (See the connection? They start with the same letter!) And I can not possibly condone or participate in Evil Doings.

Well, that certainly sounds better than saying "Um, yeah. I just have no willpower to get up off of my lazy behind."

Doesn't it? :)

Great advice, and really? If I was ever going to do something about my level of cuddliness? I'd totally follow it!

Kelly said...

Not only are you brilliant. But, you are buff too. Gotta love that.

Maria said...

I'm going to try it!

Hannah Specter said...

Ok, this was really interesting. I've just started working out again. I wonder if I can keep the same exercise and just increase the intensity to get the same outcome. Or change it all together.

Amy said...

You can. I would recommend waiting 3 weeks before you up your intensity, just so you can get the most out of each intensity increase. Once you have reached your top intensity for 3 weeks you would start increasing your time by 5 minutes every 3 weeks.

Valarie said...

Ok so I started doing this by running, now my knee hurts. Not the smartest move I guess, but I really liked it. I guess I need to just walk or go get the bike out.

janethesane said...

Awesome post! I am sure mixing it up helps prevent boredome too. Sometimes I tire of a type of exercise pretty quickly but if I know it is only for 3 weeks and I get to switch that might help.

louann said...

The problem with me is I am very lazy.
My weight has been a huge problem since I gave birth to my eldest.

Hey it's Amy Shipp said...

I agree with you about wii boxing. You can burn a lot of calories doing that!