- How my old method of exercising stopped me from losing weight
- I reached a healthy weight by exercising 300 hours LESS per year
- How does a weekly exercise routine stop you over-eating?
Now I understand why it’s important to get my body into a weekly exercise routine that includes rest days. Simplify your weekly exercise routine and lose weight.
Whether it’s sleeping, eating or exercising, our bodies function best when they’re in a routine.
I wanted to write this post because for 10 years I over-exercised. But still I couldn’t lose weight. I put in hours of physical activity every week. And even more if I overate. I was always putting my body through extremes.
When I finally broke this self-destructive cycle and got into a weekly exercise routine (and one that’s less intense) it helped me lose weight and keep it off for good.
My old approach to exercise
For the 10 years I was overweight I worked out for one hour each day—that’s seven hours a week and 365 hours a year. It didn’t matter if I was sick, it was Christmas or I had a really active day, I put on my running shoes and did my 60 minutes. And if I ate something I thought I shouldn’t have, I’d exercise again. I wanted to burn off the extra calories.
Jogging was my activity of choice. But after years of over-exercising, running got too painful for my knees. So I started using the Nordic Track skier. Gliding back and forth was much easier on my joints.
Despite my daily workout, I was always between 10 and 30 pounds overweight. This reality made me wonder how much bigger I’d be if I didn’t exercise for a full hour each day. I always felt anxious until my workout was done.
My new weekly exercise routine
For the last 18 years my weekly exercise routine has consisted of three, 25 minute workouts. To my surprise, eating more and exercising less helped me lose weight. Cutting down the frequency and length of my workouts has also given me nearly 6 extra hours a week to do something else. Multiply that by 52 and that’s close to 300 freed-up hours a year.
“Work Smarter, not harder.“
– Alan Lakein, time management consultant
It’s easier to cut back on your weekly exercise routine when you understand why it’s important to have rest days in between workouts. Your body needs a break in order to reap all the benefits. Working out breaks down your body tissues. Rest, water and food gives your body a chance to repair and strengthen muscles. Additionally, exercising more doesn’t burn more calories.
Click here to read why this is true.
• builds muscle which tones your body
• burns energy—as do your muscles, even when you’re resting
• boosts your metabolism
Rest days also give you flexibility. If something comes up on your regular work-out day, you can exercise on one of your rest days instead.
My knees are permanently damaged so I exercise on an elliptical machine. I hold a two pound weight in each hand and swing my arms in time with my legs, as though I’m jogging. I miss being outdoors and the satisfaction of passing milestones along a running route, but I’ve found other ways to enjoy my weekly exercise routine.
Previously I practiced my Who Is NOBODY? presentation during my workout. I’d bring my notes and run through the main points I’d share when introducing this resource to teachers. But lately I’ve been bringing a book. This change has made my weekly exercise routine more relaxing. At the moment I’m reading In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. I don’t read my work-out book outside the gym so I’m always excited to pick up where I left off.
I try to work out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and I have an active lifestyle in between. Here’s a few examples to try:
- get dropped off to run an errand and then walk home (rather than having someone wait for you in the car)
- take the stairs instead of an escalator
- walk your dog rather than just letting him out in the backyard
It’s important to tailor your weekly exercise routine so that it works for you. Listen to music, try working out with other people and test out different activities. It’s ok to dislike something you’ve tried. Perhaps your preference is to alternate between various workouts.
Is there a slot in the day that best suits your schedule? Take time to experiment! For example, you might think mornings are ideal. Then find exercise makes a great study break or is more relaxing after your kids have gone to bed.
• boost energy and mood
• relieve stress
• help you sleep better
• get everything moving which contributes to regular bowel movements
• sharpen concentration
• strengthen your immune system
• remove toxins from your body through perspiration
• combat chronic health conditions
• promote self-esteem
• improve mental health
• increase strength and agility
• are fun because they can be social or time alone with your thoughts
• are empowering because you’re taking control of your health by being active
Sticking to your weekly exercise routine makes it easier to lose weight
Another change I made, which helped me lose weight, was to never use exercise as a form of purging. Our bodies perform at their best when they’re in a routine. Eating too much and then over-exercising is self-defeating. It confuses your body and slows down your metabolism. Then it’s harder to lose weight. And it wastes a lot of time.
As soon as I stopped giving myself the option to do extra exercise to make up for overeating, I found it got a lot easier to stop overeating. Having to live with my choices and understanding that extra exercise doesn’t help you get back on track, helped me break this self-destructive cycle.
The first time I didn’t allow myself to do extra exercise after I overate, was hard. But knowing I wouldn’t give myself the option, was a game-changer. Understanding extra exercise would only take me further away from my goals also helped me break the unhealthy habit of going to the gym after eating too much.
Eating balanced meals and snacks also helped me stop overeating. Meals that include nutrients from every type of food in the Eatwell Guide prevented me from feeling hungry to the point of panic.
Be kind to your body! Stop jerking it around with the wild extremes of starving, binging and purging (through exercise or other means). Instead, get into a daily eating routine and a weekly exercise routine. They don’t have to be exact. Just try to have three, roughly balanced meals a day and exercise three times a week.
Keep it simple! Get your body into a predictable pattern.
Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.
Work up or down to three, 25 minute work outs per week.Having a strategy for change also helps you turn unhealthy habits into healthy habits. Sign up (below) to receive the best strategy I learned.
Don’t Fight, by Donnie & Joe Emerson
My approach to weight loss included using exercise to make up for the times I overate. I’d think “give me one more chance to make it up … ”
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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it
What makes your weekly exercise routine fun?
Love this information– Thanks, Kelly!!!
Thanks for your message Kathy!! It’s so great to have 300 hours back a year. Also, when I stopped purging via exercise, etc. my metabolism bounced back. Our bodies work best when we’re in a routine!
I suffer from depression and exercise is vital to my mental health. It is my self care. Like gardening, it is my sacred place. If I find it stressing me (forcing myself, badgering myself about performance, etc.) , I pull back. Life has gotten in the way lately and I look forward to getting back to my routine so I can breathe out…
I’m not rigid about it – I have 3 scheduled classes each week – cross train, pilates and a personal trainer session. I add in what fits from my choices of elliptical, bicycle and swimming which I usually get to treat myself to twice a week. I walk or bicycle wherever and whenever I can. It is self care to take the time for these things. It connects me to the best part of my physical self – my strength and health. It gets me out of my head and the negative thinking that can go on there!
That’s a beautiful description of exercise Marsha and I’m so happy you find it helps with depression. Exercise is totally self care. Love how you said that. And it improves every other bit of self care. Like exercise helps me sleep better and eat healthy, etc. I also need to get out of my head! I agree – exercise is so great for that. And I also find that turning on a radio program that makes me think rather than worry about things I have NO control over helps. I love the radio when I do dishes! In Canada one good channel is CBC – I don’t always agree with everything said but it gets the wheels turning! Podcasts are also amazing. Thanks for sharing your exercise routine Marsha! xoKelly
It’s a great message, Kelly. My exercise breakthrough was that it wasn’t enough to feel good AFTER exercising; I wanted to feel good WHILE I was exercising. So I decided that anything jarring or unpleasant (to me) was off my list! So now I walk at least 30 minutes most days, do aquafit a couple of times a week, and swim a kilometre 2-3 times per week. It’s plenty and I enjoy it all.
Wow Elaine! That’s awesome. Swimming a kilometer is amazing. I love that you do a variety of workouts and that some are more social. Aquafit sounds like so much fun. And also a solid workout. You’re smart to decide exercise can be win-win… fun during and after! Thanks so much for sharing your weekly routine. I’m inspired! xoKelly