Occasional exercise such as climbing a hill once in a few months isn’t going to do much to up your fitness level. In order to get fit and stay fit, exercise should be a consistent part of your lifestyle.
But how do you go from zero exercise to exercising regularly?
"Start walking; even if it’s walking to the local shops, parking your car further away from the office, LRT station or the mall. Take the stairs not the elevator if you can. Sometimes, being less sedentary simply means changing how you usually move every day." -- Jeremy, C25
We tend to complain about parking further away from the mall entrance or having to wait long for the lift. Whenever I have to walk more or climb the stairs, as long as I’m not pressed for time, I don’t dread it. Rather, I see it as more calories being burned and it became natural to me. You can’t expect to lose weight just by doing this but it’s an active start nonetheless.
When I told myself that I wanted to lose weight, the next thing I did was walk for exercise. I was horrible at running so I walked. Power-walking can definitely get your heart rate up and make you sweat but it’ll take about 20 minutes of fast, wide steps with a few uphill slopes to heat up. Compared to strolling, power-walking will burn almost twice the amount of calories [check out how much calories you can burn by walking].
These days, I run and if I need to slow down, I jog. While I’m still not very good at running, the more I run each week, the more improvements I see in my endurance and speed.
My official “new beginning” started when I took up a gym membership after a 1-week free trial. That was when I started fitting exercise into my daily routine. Besides the convenience of location and facilities, I was mostly attracted to the group exercise classes. I was keen to try every class once. If I’m not doing a class, I’d be on the treadmill or fumbling with the weight machines. I’d go to the gym in the morning, in the evening and spend hours there on weekends. I was really into it!
Problem was, I didn’t quite know what I was doing. The popular classes were always packed (at least 30 pax). I could barely keep up with the moves and the instructors couldn’t provide much guidance. Going in the evenings was the worst because you’d have to wait your turn to use the machines. To beat the crowd, I learned how to utilize the freestyle training area using things like the BOSU, medicine ball, step-board and dumbbells.
"If you want to take it to the next level, try an outdoor group exercise programme like circuit training. Many people who don’t like to be stuck inside a gym, can’t motivate themselves or aren’t sure if their exercise routine is right for them prefer to do this. And you’ll be exercising with like-minded people in an outdoor environment." -- Jeremy, C25
A Circuit25 session at KLCC Park
My Current Exercise Plan
- Three mornings a week I’d spend about 20 to 30 minutes in the gym doing freestyle exercises.
- Once a week I’ll do a low intensity class such as Pilates.
- I’m challenging myself to run 5km a week so I’d fit that in whenever I can.
- Two evenings a week I’d do circuit training (Circuit25) with Jeremy and work my butt off! I’m usually totally burned out after C25 so I’d sleep in the next morning to recover.
In my case, I find interval training and resistance training fun. Partly it’s because I don’t get lost in the moves but mostly it’s because I find pleasure in monitoring progress so that I would know if I was improving. On top of that, I am more aware of the areas that I want to work on.
It took me some time to realize that it’s not how long you spend working out. Rather, it’s how effective the workout is and how efficient you are at doing it.
If you have any questions for Jeremy regarding fitness or diet, please don't hesitate to ask them in the comment section below.