1. Bodies are made in the kitchen, not in the gym. Exercise in itself is not an effective weight loss tool. That’s not to say it isn’t beneficial though, as it aids in eating healthy (who wants to eat a piece of cake after a good workout?!), and helps your body and organ systems work more efficiently. It’s best to view exercise as a method of improving mental clarity and overall well-being, rather than a method of burning calories.
For explanations on this theory, read Why Exercise and Burning Calories Wont Help You Lose Weight or Daily Beast – Campaign to Stop America’s Obesity Crisis Keeps Failing. If you see people in their 70’s wake boarding and running marathons, it motivates you to do the same at that age. You will want to keep up with it to age gracefully and stay young.
2. The most effective exercise is high intensity interval training (HIIT). If you have ever trained for something intense like a marathon you may have done this type of training. If your training alone, you can simply run for as long as you are able, and slowly improve your distance and mile time but that may not be the most effective method. In a training class you likely will alternate slower running with intense spurts; for instance, you might jog for three minutes then sprint for one minute. Your distance and mile time will likely show huge improvements right away. HIIT is also much less boring than static exercise.
3. It is very possible to get in amazing shape without dedicating a lot of time to exercise. First you have to accept the first two rules: stop exercising to simply burn calories, and include spurts of intense (but safe) effort in your workout. You can save time by exercising at home, and will be more likely to stick with your workout routine if it doesn’t take up much of your day. Two favorite quick workout methods are CrossFit (http://crossfit.com/) and Tabata Training (http://tabatatraining.org/). If you’re not familiar with them, then trust us, they work.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of music – a good workout mix helps you find motivation to start and finish your workout. If your training to run something like a marathon, forgetting your music for a training day you will regret it – it makes the time go faster. If you’d like, you can create your own workout using the exercises that fit into your mix. For instance, pick a song, do jumping jacks on the first verse, side jumps on the second verse, clock lunges on the third verse, and burpees on each chorus. Another way to use music: once you’ve done a workout video a few times and know it well enough, you can mute it and listen to music (or watch your favorite show).
5. Take the time to notice the benefits of exercising. After your workout, take in your runner’s high. Appreciate your sore muscle the next day (yes you can enjoy that feeling of good soreness). Notice how your mood changes when you work out. When you truly appreciate these benefits, you won’t want to go a day without exercise and will make time for it whenever possible.