People are literally wasting their time working out – especially if it’s just cardio. Before we go any further, healthy nutrition is the best and fastest way to a healthier body. Exercise is only a small portion – 20% at most. If you honestly want to get healthy and lose weight, make sure your nutrition is your focus. Exercise is the helper.
Typical Client Who Wants to Lose Weight
When Holly came to me and asked why she wasn’t losing weight, I asked her what her current routine was. This is when I told her she was wasting her time and wouldn’t attain her goal anytime soon.
- Her Exercise Routine: She was running every day except Sunday (that’s the Lord’s day) and killing herself in her workouts all week long. Her typical routine was going to the gym at 5:30pm, running for 45 minutes on the treadmill, or outside when it was nice, and then hitting some weights if she had time, but that was a rarity.
- Her Nutrition: She did well all week long, but allowed cheat meals on the weekends.
Seems very logical for someone trying to lose weight. Here are her issues:
- She is not stretching or resting enough.
- She has stale workouts.
- She is replacing her calories on the weekends that she just burned off.
- She is not lifting weights enough.
Solutions To Enhance Your Workout Routines
1. REST YOUR BODY – Active Rest
Running 5 days per week for 45 minutes or more on a treadmill isn’t sustainable for months on end to lose weight. Even if you are training for a marathon, 5K, or road race, you simply need rest days. Your body performs the best when it’s rested. Ideally, two days of rest per week is suggested. Rest can be an easy walk, active rest, so it’s not like you should just sit all day. You should do something, but just make sure you aren’t doing the same thing every day of the week. Allow your body to recover.
If you watch people in the gym and notice that they don’t stretch after their workouts, they weren’t trained properly. Don’t skimp on the stretching. Warm up your body first with jumping jacks, light running, biking, or easy air squats for a minute and up to five minutes, then start your workout. AFTER your workout is the best time to perform true stretching. This is when your body is warm and ready to loosen up and receive your deeper stretching moments and improve flexibility. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time but it is vital to your overall health.
3. FRESHEN UP YOUR WORKOUTS
The treadmill’s nickname is DREAD-MILL for a reason. You can easily get addicted to it and actually like it, but it’s a dreadful thing for your body. Addictions can form quickly in many areas, the treadmill is one of them. It’s a bad habit to be addicted to it most days of the week. Freshen up your cardio workouts with different machines (if you can’t go outside) or try some of the free workouts I offer on this site. If your body knows what’s coming then you may be in an exercise plateau. This is a perfect time to mix it up with more progress. I call this training smarter and not necessarily harder.
This will enable your body to have something else to look forward to and ‘shock’ your system a little. I’ve witnessed clients and even myself lose weight by merely switching up the routine. If you have to use the dread-mill, at least use different running options and programs. Try a hill workout, intervals, or speed work.
4. DON’T REWARD YOUR PROGRESS WITH FOOD/DRINKS
The calories you burn all week on the treadmill, or cardio of your choice is easily replaced on the weekends if you reward yourself for your progress with food. Find an alternative for a reward: movies, new outfit, adventure walking, crafts, tickets to something, a new race to enter, a new book, etc. If you choose food and sugar-laden drinks for your hard work all week, you’ll end up in the same place all over again on Monday.
5. GET YOUR LIFT ON
Many women think if they only have 45 minutes to exercise, it better be all cardio. They’ll chuck the stretching and lift a few minutes because they gotta burn as many calories as possible in the time they have. This is one of the worst choices for your workout.
The more muscle we have on our bodies, the more fat we burn at rest. It takes more calories to keep our bodies going when we have more muscle on our frames. I’m not telling women to build tons of muscle and get bulky. I am telling women that it’s super important to build and maintain muscle.
Besides rest days, stretching, and getting your heart rate to increase, you need resistance to your bones and muscles. I’ve trained for many races and adding rest and lift days is a must to add to any running routine. I don’t mind the treadmill at all, but you’ll love it more if you add variety to your daily routine with resistance.
Muscle does more than just help us look good. It helps our metabolism and helps us perform daily activities better. It also helps our bones…I need to write a blog post just on this topic – it’s that important.
When we have resistance on our bones, it gets our cells fired up and makes them stronger. It doesn’t even require tons of resistance and weight training – just hit it 3 times per week. And, it doesn’t have to take long.
6. CONCLUSION – Key Reminders
Instead of logging in hours a week on the treadmill, try to focus more on your nutrition, weight training, active rest days, and stretching.
BACK TO THE CASE STUDY:
Holly began weight lifting 3 days a week, for only 15 minutes, and SIGNIFICANTLY saw a difference in her weight loss. If you’d like some meal planning ideas to help you get your nutrition a kick start, try some of these options.