What exercises and type of training is really needed to loose weight, get in good shape, and be healthy?

If you have ever heard you only need to do this, well this article is not that.  Whenever some says you only need to do these exercises, this training, blah blah blah, they are right and wrong.  They are sharing positive experiences that have either helped them or someone else.  It is more accurate to look at these statements in terms of possibility.  It is possible that what that person, acquaintance, friend, or family member is saying will help.  There being a possibility does not guarantee results.  Loosing weight and getting results boils down to multiple factors.  I have had friends who lost weight running.  I have also had friends who have not lost weight, and have actually gained weight while running on a regular basis.  No matter what type of exercise you do, diet is important.  Even if two individuals are being consistent with the same type of exercises, what you eat makes a difference.  That means you need to eat the best quality food you can get from a variety of groups that your body loves, gives you energy, and leaves you feeling amazing.

You might hear people say you just need to do HIIT training.  You might also hear you need to do treadmill, ride a bike, walk, run, hike, swim, and do some sort of cardio, or aerobic activity to loose weight.  Aerobic exercise paired with a caloric deficit is the key.  There is truth in this statement, but everything is going to depend on your fitness level.  If you are just beginning, it is really important to take things slow and build up your volume and endurance over time!  Too many people go too hard too fast and injure themselves.  Please take reasonable steps.  So yes, do some cardio, but explore different types of cardio.  Find a type of aerobic exercise that will be easy for you to commit to.  This will create momentum and will contribute to your life long commitment to being active.  The other option would be to pick a type of aerobic exercise that you are excited to learn that have never done before.  This could be some sort of activity that will require you to improve your endurance and hand eye coordination.  Please be mindful of your current level of fitness and find a community that will be able to meet you where you are at and will positively encourage you to get better.

I personally feel it is also important to do resistance training in your journey to loose weight.  Put bluntly, you either have more muscle or more fat.  Cardio will help burn fat.  Resistance training will help to increase your muscle, which is great for everybody.  Start small and build up.  Find a total body program that will help to increase your leg strength, back muscles, posterior chain, and different pushing movements.  Find something that you can commit to for a while.  Start simple and increase your volume over time.  This can be weight lifting, power lifting, body building, cross fit, calisthenics, resistance bands, or some other form of resistance that you can stick to and get better at over time.  If you consider strength as a skill, then you strength training is like a practice that you can get better at over time.

Basically, do some aerobic training and resistance training.  Start small and increase your workload over time.  Commit to getting better, progressing, and improving your skill and technique in all of the movements you do.  Take this time as an opportunity to be present and in the moment.  Let go of whatever negativity was keeping you down and fall in love with movement.  It is a process that takes time.  When you get become fully engaged in the process, then you will be incredibly successful.  If you constantly jump from one thing to another, you will continually get frustrated, fall off the band wagon and regress.  Now, once you start this process, you must be committed to your progress.  Start small, but keeping going.  So do not stay small!  Get better, grow, and learn to embrace challenge.  One way to frame this is what is a small challenge I can tackle today?  Or…what is something that is hard for me that I can get better at!  Growth mindset helps a lot here.  You can check out my blog post about growth mindset and read works by Carol Dweck.

The first step is always the hardest, so take the leap and step into your greatness!