You’ve decided to get fit, and you’re ready to exercise. Good for you! But if you’re joining a gym for the first time, you may be asking yourself: “Now what do I do? Should I just copy what other people are doing on all these machines? How many hours do I need to be here to get fit? Help!”
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Next, based on your realistic, healthy and sustainable exercise plan, establish a weekly weight-loss goal. One to two pounds per week is usually safe.
While a long-range goal of being physically active each day is ideal, you'll have a better chance for success if you set attainable goals. Try to accumulate a total of at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. Gyms aren't for everyone but they do help you consolidate your exercise: Once you're in there, it's easy to justify putting in a consistent 30 to 60 minutes of exercise, then moving on with your day. The same cannot be said for watching an aerobics DVD at home, where you're more likely to get distracted and hit the "pause" button.
Variety is also key. You'll get fit faster if you "mix it up," Scott says. Try different types of aerobic activities and classes.
While working out aerobically, use the “talk test” to check your intensity level. Even when working moderately hard, you should be able to maintain a conversation without gasping for air.