Updated: Sep 10
Learn how to design a sustainable fitness routine that works for you and gets you the desired results without the "go hard or go home" mindset.
So you want to start a fitness routine but you have a bunch of questions, like...
How much exercise do you actually need to get stronger and become more fit?
Twenty minutes three times per week? Half-hour per day?
And how much is too much?
Do you need to sweat it out for an hour or more daily?
Let’s go over the (sometimes) mysterious amount of ideal exercise. Ideal for your health and wellness. Ideal for getting into shape.
Starting with the minimum.
What's the Minimum Amount of Exercise?
First things first: Start from where you are.
If you’re not already exercising regularly, there is no need to go overboard. In fact, trying too much too soon may derail your motivation and become a reason you throw in the towel.
So, let’s say you’re not that active (yet). What if I were to recommend:
👉🏽 10-20 minutes every other day at a level you think you can do 👈🏽
This could be any physical activity that you enjoy...and it doesn't even require a trip to the gym or
fancy equipment. (You can work up to those initial 10 minutes...start with five minutes if you need to.)
How does that sound as a starting point?
Pretty doable, right?
If you’re not training for a competition, you can absolutely get into great shape starting with this plan.
It will take longer to see results, but that time will pass anyway. So...when the next season comes around, wouldn’t you want to be proud of your improved strength and fitness?
Yes, I thought so!
How to Design Your Exercise Plan
Spoiler alert: There isn’t one answer for everyone.
The main rule is to start where YOU are. Take note of your fitness level and goals, and slowly increase. There really is no quick fix (at least no quick fix that will give you lasting long-term results).
Always consider what is reasonably sustainable for you based on your answers to the following questions :
What is your long-term fitness goal?
What else is happening in your life (i.e., how much time do you really have)?
What is your current state of fitness?
But don’t stop there!
As you create a sustainable exercise habit, it will start getting easier. So, don’t forget to make it a bit more challenging as you go.
Every week, do something to push yourself a bit farther than you did the week before. If you’re strength training, do another repetition or grab the next heavier weight. If you’re doing cardio, go a bit longer, farther, and/or faster.
Keep Yourself Motivated
A great motivational tool is to log your workouts. A simple notepad or workbook (or app) will do! Just enter your reps, sets, and/or times each time you work out. This will not only help you to keep motivated to continue, but it will also help you see where you can squeeze in that extra challenge as you progress.
After several weeks, you take some time to check in and evaluate your progress. Keep going as you are, ramp it up, or change it completely. Eventually, you will find yourself getting stronger and more fit!
Keep in Mind Your Nutrition
While exercise is very good for your health, wellness, and longevity, it’s not the only thing to consider. What you eat will have an even greater impact on your body composition.
Some of my favorite super-simple tips that give you the biggest “bang for your buck” are:
Eat more veggies
Swap the soda for soda water with fruit
Cut your treats and sweets in half (and save/put away the other half) before indulging
Be mindful of serving sizes
Eat slower and savor it more by chewing each bite of food more thoroughly
Carry around healthy (unsweetened, fiber-rich) snacks like nuts, fruit, and berries
You don’t need to exercise like crazy to get stronger and change your body composition. I promise! But you do need to do the following:
Start from where you are, and don’t go overboard.
If you’re a beginner, that means 10 - 20 minutes every other day at an easy level.
Log your workout progress to track improvements and keep motivated.
Slowly increase the difficulty every week as you get stronger and fitter.
Don’t forget to eat your veggies, reduce your serving sizes (especially treats), and carry around healthy snacks.
Talk with your doctor before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program.
Make an appointment to chat with me (your coach) about how I can support you in getting your desired results.
You got this!
Hey there! My name is Maríssa Rivera-Davis (she/her). I am a PN-Certified nutrition coach, GGS-certified womxn's fitness coaching specialist, licensed Zumba® Fitness instructor, and the founder of Her365 Fitness, a studio/gym & wellness community for womxn.
I help busy and overwhelmed womxn develop intuitive self-care practices around eating, exercise/movement, and rest so they can finally break free from the harmful cycles of dieting and the pursuit of body-image "ideals."
My mission is to help womxn feel empowered to live authentically & more joyfully in the body they have right now.