Looking for an exercise program that's perfect for a beginning exerciser? Need a step-by-step guide to help you lose weight? This 12-week plan gives you all the tools you need.
- Cardio, strength training and flexibility workouts
- Weekly calendars to organize your workouts
- Quick tips to help you stay on track
This program is simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy. Just like any 12-week weight loss program, you'll have ups and downs. It's important to expect those fluctuations in advance. Some weeks you'll do great, and others you won't. That's normal.
Be sure to listen to your own body and do what's right for you. Every workout listed is a suggestion. Substitute similar workouts if you like. You can always walk, go for a bike ride, hike with a friend, or take your kids to the park for a game of tag or Frisbee to get some activity too.
If you've never exercised before, review the basics of cardio and strength training first. If you have some experience, you can substitute harder workouts to get faster weight loss results.
Before You Start a Weight Loss Program
There are a few smart things to take care of before you start this or any 12-week weight loss program.
- Check with your doctor if you have any injuries or illnesses, or if you're on medication.
- Set goals, write them out, and post them in a place where you can see them.
- Find or purchase shoes, clothes, or equipment that you will need.
- Take your measurements and make a note of them. Re-take them every four weeks to track your progress. You may also want to track your weight loss.
- Decide when you will work out (in the morning, at lunch, or after work) and write it down in your calendar or fitness journal.
- Plan and prepare your meals for the week beforehand.
Weeks 1 to 4
The following calendar includes all the cardio, strength, core, and flexibility workouts to get you started during your first four weeks of weight loss. Most weeks include two or three basic cardio workouts, three core workouts, and two days of strength training. Each week, your workouts will change slightly so that you gradually build strength and endurance.
If you feel tired or sore, take extra rest days. If you have other cardio workouts you like, you can also substitute those anytime.