- Monday: Half-hour of jogging, biking (on hills) or other intense aerobic exercise you enjoy
- Tuesday: Half-hour of strength training (squats, sit-ups and push-ups for beginners; weight training with machines or dumbbells for the more experienced)
- Wednesday: Rest day
- Thursday: Repeat Monday
- Friday: Repeat Tuesday
Saturday: One hour of exercise–any type of exercise. Go rollerblading with a friend, take the family to the hills for a hike or swim laps at the pool.
- Sunday: Rest day
Make your workouts more time-efficient by exercising harder. For example, you can walk two miles in a half-hour, or you can run four miles in a half-hour. You can spend an hour in step aerobics class, or you can spend 20 minutes rowing at the highest resistance level on the rowing machine. When you perform strength-training exercises, use a challenging resistance and move quickly through your exercises to get an aerobic benefit.
If you want to commit to getting fit, exercise must become a part of your life–a habit as regular as brushing your teeth. Try these ideas to help you stay on track:
- Make a log of everything you do for a week, and identify the time slots where you can fit in exercise. Did you spend a Saturday afternoon watching the Back to the Future trilogy for the fifth time? Could you manage to get up a half-hour earlier on the weekdays? Just skip an hour of television time and go to bed earlier.
- Make exercise convenient. Find a place to work out that’s close to your home or office. If you’re disciplined and have the space, work out at home.
- Develop relationships with supportive people. Join an exercise class or go to the gym with friends. If you skip a class, your friends will hold you accountable.
- Exercise at the right time. The “right time” is when you’re most likely to do it. If you know your day often ends late or meetings come up suddenly, it’s best to schedule your workout for first thing in the morning when nothing can interfere. If you’re a night owl, fit your workout in before dinner. If you can only manage a 10-minute walk on your lunch hour–do it. Some exercise is better than none.