It’s 2011, and what better time to build a great new body. By exercising three to five times a week for at least 30 minutes (make at least two of those workouts strength training) you can have the body you want in no time.
Winter: Base-Building and Boredom-Busting
Your resolutions probably came with a regular gym membership and not-so-regular motivation. But this is when you need a schedule most. You have to build a solid foundation of strength and cardiovascular health before you can move on to more intense and more fun activities. If you haven’t exercised regularly, start with 2 days a week. Hit 6 weeks, and it’s a habit. Start here.
Keep your cardio intensity lower than about 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, or a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. If you push too hard, you’ll peak early and burn out. Plus, you’ll burn fat by doing 30 minutes at 60 to 70 percent. When you train at lower intensities, you’re teaching your body to use fat rather than carbohydrates.
Every once in a while, choose exercises the way you’d browse through a bookstore go in without a plan. You can do anything, just whatever you feel like, for 30 minutes to an hour. It’s a great way to avoid boredom, and you don’t have to wait for machines. For cardio, follow the guidelines outlined above. For strength, keep your weights low (low enough so that you can complete two to three sets of 10 mildly challenging reps), or just do one set of each exercise, mixing them as you please without thinking about what’s coming next.