Monday, May 16, 2011

How to Plan to Exercise :: 10 Steps to Get Fit

I have a theory - most moms approach weight loss as either dieters or exercisers.  The emails and comments I receive support my theory. Moms ask me why the scale isn't moving even though they every day they use using Jillian's 30 Day Shred (linked to my review). Other moms tell me they cut breads and sugar from their diet but their jeans still feel tight.

Each mom wants to know the same thing - "do I really need a diet plan AND an exercise plan?" I wish I had a different answer but my experience is that you need both to achieve your weight loss and fitness goals. I shared my eating plan with you last week so today I'm sharing my exercise plan.

Why do I need an exercise plan?

I'm a dieter. If given a choice between exercising 3 times a week or going without dessert for 3 weeks, I'm saying so long to the cheese cake! Dieting gives me a small degree of success. The numbers on the scale move down but I am still flabby, breathless when I play with my children, and exhausted all of the time. I don't like that feeling.

So, I put aside my natural inclination to avoid sweating and work out for twenty minutes 3-4 times a week. That's all it takes for my energy level to increase, my "muffin top" to decrease, and me to feel strong.

credit: sean dreilinger

How to make an exercise plan?

I answered several questions as I made my exercise plan:
  • What time of day works best for me to exercise?
  • How can I rearrange my schedule to fit in exercise?
  • What kind of exercise do I enjoy/will I do?
  • Where is the best place for my abilities, amount of time, and time of day availability?
  • How much money do I have for classes, equipment or a trainer?
  • Who can I ask to join me?

What is my exercise plan?

My current plan is pretty simple - workout 3-4 times a week in the afternoon using 30 Day Shred or a Biggest Loser workout DVD. I pop the DVD in after all my kids are in bed for nap/rest time. This keeps them from distracting me and is a time we are usually at home.

An exercise plan has become an invaluable tool to reaching my weight loss and fitness goals. I don't think I could lose 10 pounds and 1 pants size in 6 weeks without it!

Are you a dieter or exerciser? What's on your exercise plan?

Read the other posts in this series: 10 Steps to Get Fit, Set Fitness Goals, How to Fail Proof Your Weight Loss, Get Fit and Eat Pancakes Too!.


Carrie said...

Yeah, I'd much rather JUST diet. But then I'm still tired. Very much looking forward to getting the green light to exercise again. The food issues are going well (lost my 2 lbs for the week!) but one side of my incision is still causing pain so I'm not doing much more than walking. And even too much of that makes me go to the Ibuprofen. It's hard to move so slow in body when my mind is moving fast, fast, fast!!!

Otherwise, I agree with this post entirely. The only REAL way to make a difference is to diet AND exercise. It's the best of both worlds. Somewhat unfortunately!

Amy said...

As an Exercise Physiologist when I'm working with people who have weight loss as their goal I always tell them you need to do both. Dietary changes are great and it is how most of the weight will be lost, but adding in exercise as well will give you a boost. Building more muscle mass allows your body to born more calories at rest, aiding in the weight loss goal.

My exercise plan is fairly simple, although I prefer to call it a physical activity plan. Even as an Exercise Physiologist I don't like the idea of exercise. I do stretching daily and lift weights two days a week. I don't feel the need to have a specific cardio program at this point in time because we walk a lot and I'm constantly dancing and chasing around our two mobile children.

Eventually after my body has healed a little more from the last pregnancy I plan to get back into running. I would like to run a half marathon next spring.

Amy said...

They go together for sure! I have found that if I can get my exercise then I naturally tend to eat more healthy. I get back from running and crave water. I also tend to crave fruits and some vegetables when I am exercising regularly. Dessert and fatty foods seem to loose some of their appeal, note I said some--not all! :)

Stephanie Kay said...

Carrie, you are absolutely forbidden to do any exercise more strenuous than picking up that sweet baby girl of yours! :)

Amy, pregnancy and delivery takes a while to recover from. Especially if you've had a c-section (see threat to Carrie). A half marathon sounds exciting. I walk/ran a 5K last year and loved it. I'd like to do another one this fall but really need someone to train with.

Amy, I think we established long ago that you and I don't look at food the same way!!! :) I don't know that junk food loses it appeal for me but I do crave fruits and veggies more. That might have more to do with spring/summer weather than exercise though.

Anonymous said...

I am so in love with this topic and happy to share this event with you. I belive in nutrition not dieting and exercising to the capability of your body. For me, that would be much different than many due to present health issues and past surgeries. I am prohibited from many types of exercise but have been cleared so far for the recumbent bike. You sit back and pedal while on your hiney rather than sit up on a bike and pedal. I'm surprised I have stuck with it. I started 15 minutes a day for one week, now up to 30 minutes a day this week, then up to 45 next week. I then see the nutritionist again and we'll go from there.

I was horrified to find yesterday at my internist appt I had not lost one pound. I lost ONE OUNCE!!! But, I immediately felt better when she told me those who were athletes for many years, muscle comes before weight loss hence the nutrition and the build up of exercise. I have to go slow to avoid a flare so it's important that I remain patient.

I do feel better when I've hopped on that bike and complete my time. I am no debating wether or not to purchase a scale to track my own weight loss once a week. I'm on a double edge sword with that as I don't want to be obsessed by the workout. Right now the goal is to keep me moving gently.

yesterday, I completed my 30 minutes and I was stoked. Thrilled actually. I took out my dr's appt aggression on the bike. I'm supposed to loose 8 lbs this month but my internist says it's just a goal. Being that I just got off prednisone, she thinks the nutritionist is putting a bit too much pressure on me. We'll see how it goes as my time increases. I did burn more and sweat was readily available. Maybe they are both right.

Tell me, which cd do you like best and why? Which is gentler with someone who must go easy? I would love your short opinion on this matter. I want a workout cd but I don't want to waste money trying to find the "right" one.

hang in there ladies, we can do this!

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Right now, I am neither. But in the past I would say that I fall in the exerciser category. I would work out 5 days a week for an hour and wonder why I was not losing weight. I made mild attempts to watch my eating, but that definitely was not cuttin git. I did manage to lose 10 pounds last year making a half-hearted effort (and I have kept it off thankfully). I just can't help but think - what could I do if I make a whole-hearted effort?

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