Most fitness experts and trainers have super-toned bodies that are sculpted (I can only assume) by many hours in the gym. How do they do it? How much time do they really spend working out?
I can't speak for them, but I can tell you what I do to stay in shape. My routine isn't crazy or impossible—it's pretty balanced. I'm always preaching about the importance of moderation and that is what I strive for when I work out. For me, it's not about how many calories I burn (in fact, I don't pay any attention to that), and it's not about trying to look better (although it's a nice perk, I've learned that focusing on the fitness instead of my appearance yields better results). It's about strengthening my heart, muscles, and bones. It's about feeling better about myself, maintaining a healthy body weight, and setting aside a small amount of time for myself in a day that's otherwise full of helping others. In fact, I exercise for all of the same reasons as most of you. So are you ready to see what my weekly routine is like?
As a full-time SparkPeople editor, my days revolve around deadlines and schedules. That's OK—I need the structure. But when it comes to my workouts, I keep things flexible. Rather than forcing myself to stick to a specific workout time or a certain workout on a certain day, I set a general rule that I will exercise, but I decide what to do that day on a whim most of the time!
No matter what, I meet these fitness goals over the course of the week:
So what does that really look like over the course of a week? It ends up looking like 5-7 days of exercise, usually totaling around 60 minutes per day. Sometimes I do just cardio in a day. Sometimes I do cardio and strength training. Other days I do a short, focused workout because I don't want to spend a lot of time exercising. And most often, I exercise in the evening after work (I am NOT a morning person).
I'm 100% flexible on what workout I do on any given day of the week, and I always have a backup plan. I tend to pack my gym bag so that I'll be ready for anything, but if the day wears on and I just want to go home, that's exactly what I do. As long as I'm meeting my general goals above by the time the week is over, I really don't care exactly how I get there!
OK so I know that what you really want to see is exactly how this breaks down on a daily and weekly basis. So, referring to my handy tracking calendar (that I love so much!), here are the actual workouts I did during a recent week:
Over the course of the week, I keep my weekly goals in mind and make sure I meet them. After each week, I can look back and analyze what I did and make sure I'm keeping things balanced. For example, I didn't lift any weights in the gym in this sample week, so I'd make sure to do more of that the following week.
I hope this goes to show that you don't have to be a marathon runner, yoga enthusiast, or gym rat to attain a well-rounded fitness program or be a fit, healthy person. There is no right or wrong way to do it—as long as you're sticking with a routine that works for YOU!
Does it help you to see how the "experts" really eat and exercise? What does your weekly fitness routine look like? Tell us below!
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