This is my third blog in my collection of articles about losing weight for a wedding. The previous articles explained weight loss and diet. Today I’m going to wrap up the series (at least I plan on this being the last one) by discussing how exercise fits into the equation and give an example wedding workout.
In my honest opinion, I believe that diet is the most important aspect of losing weight, and if your diet is perfect, you can probably get away without exercise. For most people, though, exercise is vital to success and gives some wiggle room on the diet.
Why Exercise for weight loss?
As I explained previously, weight loss really comes down to burning more calories than you consume. This can be controlled with your diet, but another way to win the war is to add exercise into your life. When you exercise, you burn calories during the workout and your metabolism tends to be higher throughout the rest of the day. Depending on what you do, you could burn a few hundred calories per hour (walking) or around 1,000 per hour (basketball, swimming, running). There are a lot of things that factor into those numbers, but the point is that you can aid in weight loss by doing something. Even if you just add walking for 30 minutes a day, you’ll probably lose a pound every two weeks.
Besides the calorie burn, there are a few other reasons to exercise. One, your body in general will look better with exercise. Yes, you’ll lose weight by controlling your diet, but your body still might look soft. Exercise will build muscle and get you tone. Second, exercise is a natural mood enhancer and reduces stress. If you’re planning a wedding, I guarantee you have some stress. Third, you’re less likely to get sick. I know that sounds strange, but think how upset you would be if you got sick on your wedding day or honeymoon?
Wedding Workout for weight loss
Alright, this workout strategy is not the only one out there, but it’s what I’ve seen work, and there’s research out there to back it up. There are plenty of other wedding workouts out there, but please make sure there’s something to behind it and it’s not nonsense.
In general, I believe your workouts need to be short, intense, and varied. For most girls, that goes against all they’ve ever done. Most girls tend to just sit on an elliptical for 2 hours. Not the best idea. Your workouts should not last over an hour. If it’s lasting that long, your body tends to stop responding, or for most people, that means your not working hard enough, which is the next point. Your body will not change unless it is pushed. If your workout is easy, your body will have no reason to adapt and change. Go hard, it should burn, and you should be out of breath. Variety is key. If you do the same thing over and over again, your body will adapt to whatever you’re doing, and then have no reason to change. Doing a variety of exercises makes your body keep adapting. Doing the same thing over and over again is also boring.
So here’s what I suggest: weights 3 days a week and cardio 3 days a week. First, if that seems like too much, I’d say make each session relatively short, like 20-30 minutes. Second, I know girls, in general, don’t like lifting weights. They think they will get big and bulky like a guy, but that’s not true. Girls aren’t genetically built like guys, so they won’t look like them. Really girls will just get tone from lifting weights, not get big.
For weights, I suggest doing circuit training. Circuit training is when you have multiple lifts, and you move from one lift to the next with minimal rest. This allows you to get a lot done in a short amount of time, and it also makes the workout very intense. It might be something like this: pushups, squats, lat pull downs, shoulder press, bicep curls, tricep extensions, lunges, and abs. Go through the whole circuit and then take a 30 second to one minute rest and repeat. Try to do the circuit 2-4 times. Another way to do the circuit training would be training two body parts per day. Chest and back one day, biceps and triceps another day, and legs and shoulders the next time.
For cardio, it needs to be intense; again, no two hours of elliptical. A simple cardio workout would be to go to a track and sprint the straight parts and walk the curves. Another easy, but very difficult one, involves changing the level of intensity every minute. Minute one would be like walking, two a slow jog, three a normal jog, four a fast jog, and five a sprint. This structure could be used for an cardio activity.
If you follow the guidelines and do the wedding workout above and have a good diet, you will lose weight. Keep it up for a month or two and you will probably be down 10-15 pounds and ready to rock your wedding!