Most people think that they have to do high intensity workouts to benefit from exercising, but that’s not true!
When it comes fitness, it’s important to have the right mindset and a thorough understanding of what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle without relying on a strict program or an intense training style to achieve your goals. Unless you’re training for an ironman, a marathon, or a fitness competition of some sort, focus your mindset on consistency over intensity.
Diet & Exercise Breakdown
In most cases, people focus heavily on their workout regime to lose weight but they forget that exercise is only a fraction of the equation when it comes to weight loss. Take the basic concept of the 80/20 rule, which follows the principle that 80% of weight loss comes from making healthy changes to your diet and the remaining 20% comes from being physically active.
With food intake (diet) as the main factor of weight loss, consider making healthy changes to your regular eating habits. Take note of the fact that your body requires the right balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats), and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Carbohydrates, proteins and fats supply 90% of the dry weight of the diet and 100% of its energy. These nutrients also differ in how quickly they supply energy. Carbohydrates are the quickest and fats are the slowest.
If you’re looking to follow a certain dietary plan to improve your overall health, there are a number popular options ranging from ketogenic, vegetarian, vegan, Atkins, gluten-free, and many more. For example, the ketogenic(or keto) is low carb diet that can lose the excess fat without suffering from hunger. Here’s a video outlining the basics.
As a disclaimer, it may be a difficult to transition into a new dietary plan like a keto diet if you’re current eating habits consist of salty, fried & processed foods. Make sure to always do your research and assess your body’s ability to follow a new diet.
Consistency Is Key When It Comes to Exercise
Now that we’ve covered a general talk on the importance of diet, it’s time to address the topic of exercise.
Exercise is not the easiest habit to maintain especially when you’re just starting out in your fitness journey. It requires discipline to set aside time out of your day to exercise, and more importantly, it demands consistency if you want to achieve actual results.
As people look to exercise as an integral part of weight loss (to which it is), it’s important to know how to be effective at it in the long run. After all, it is a lifestyle choice.
First thing to understand is that doing “extreme workouts” isn’t the only method to lose weight. This mentality is skewed and can lead to a lot confusion. “The go hard or go home training mentality may be good at times or for some situations, but going hard all the time is not a recipe for optimal health. Consistency is the key to sustainable weight loss, muscles/growth maintenance, and overall health.”
It sounds pleasant when you think about doing more of a particular exercise especially if you’re looking to increase its efficacy but remember, be more concerned with doing it for the long-haul and that means you should aim to progress at a slow, and consistent rate.
I’m not discounting your ability to follow a high-intensity workout on a regular basis. If you feel that you’re capable of consistently doing so, then you’re free to follow a regime that works best for you. As for the majority of people looking to make exercise as part of their everyday routine, take it slow and progress from there.
Remember, “commit for life to some form of exercise! That means staying consistent and not worrying about intensity, duration, and the amount of working out that you do.” A great way to start is finding a form of exercise that you thoroughly enjoy.
With that said, we created a 21-day walking plan to help you jumpstart your fitness journey towards losing weight. This 21-day walking plan is meant to assist you in your first steps but you should aim to incorporate exercise in your everyday routine as a lifelong journey. Do not stop after you complete the 21 Days. Continue the momentum.
Benefits of Walking
Before we jump into the plan, here’s some information on the overall benefits of walking.
- Maintains a healthy weight
- Prevents or manages various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthens your bones and muscles
- Improves your mood
- Improves your balance and coordination
It Takes a Minimum of 21 Days to Form a Habit
Whatever exercise habit you want to pursue and maintain for a long time, allow yourself a minimum of 21 days to adjust to it. According Dr. Maxwell Maltz, “…many other commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.”