Practical Tips for Success with Weight Loss with Online Workouts and Exercise at Home
I have been in the health and fitness business for over 20 years. I have had 3 personal training businesses in 3 different countries and have helped many clients on to excellent health and fitness. Because of my background in exercise, I understand how important movement is for weight loss and how exercise fits in with an individualised weight loss plan. My in-clinic and online weight loss programs all have a major exercise focus and are well equipped to motivate you to move on a daily basis. You can do plenty of weight loss focused exercise at home without the need for expensive, bulky gym equipment.
Benefits of exercise
When it comes to weight management the experts all say the secret for success is 70% nutrition and 30% exercise. Although exercise is only 30% it is still a vital part of the whole equation. I find that clients who do not prioritise exercise as well as food do not get as good results as those that are committed to daily movement.
Some of the benefits of exercise include:
- Heart health. Exercise lowers our resting heart rate so the heart doesn’t have to work as hard, improving its longevity.
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol. A daily walking program can do a great job of normalising both.
- Strong healthy bones, preventing fractures as we age.
- Increased mobility and strength in our joints.
- A reduction in back pain. The worst thing you can do for back ache is nothing!
- Improvements in muscle mass at any age. Muscle loss increases over the age of 40 so a strength program is vital to prevent conditions such as sarcopenia (accelerated muscle loss). Having plenty of muscle on your body helps to keep your metabolic fire burning and your joints strong.
- Improved cellular insulin sensitivity which means that the cells become more efficient at producing energy and burning fuel
- An increased calorie consumption which means more fat burning.
- Improved mood, energy, sleep, libido – the list goes on!
It is important to be moving every day – once or twice a week is not enough. Whether it is walking the dog, going for a bike ride or doing a full workout, try to get at least half an hour of exercise in every day. Part of this half an hour can be ‘incidental exercise’ which is small daily activity that increases movement. Examples include taking the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator, walking to the shops, going for a walk at lunch time around the outside of your office or doing some vacuuming or gardening. A few hours doing housework has been shown to burn as many calories as a HIIT class! The easiest way to track your exercise is by step count – aiming for 10,000 steps every single day. I find that focusing too much on a 45-minute gym session or class then sitting at a desk all day may not get as good for results as focusing on movement throughout the day. I use a fitness tracker to track my daily step count and I always make sure I hit the hot 10,000.
Workout Plan for Women’s Weight Loss
The workouts I include in my programs and I recommend for optimum fat loss are interval training and strength workouts – the perfect mix of weight loss exercise at home. My interval training workouts incorporate mat based cardio movements, boxing, skipping and short and sharp Tabata workouts. Interval training shreds fat and helps to build nice, toned muscles. My strength workouts are based around large compound exercises such as squats, lunges, dead lifts, chest press, pulls, shoulder presses and lots of core. A lot of women avoid strength training because they are afraid to gain too much muscle and look “bulky”. In reality, it is very hard for women to gain muscle – you’d have to train 3+ hours a day to look like a super muscly bodybuilder. In my programs, I use body weight and/or light to medium weights (although I am all for women going heavier if that’s your choice) to build strength and give a nice lean and toned look. From a weight loss point of view more muscle = bigger metabolic rate = extra fat burning. Also, I find that my clients are much less hungry after a strength workout than they are after cardio. Research has shown that 70% of exercisers will over-compensate with more food than they need after an exercise session so reducing excessive hunger is a good way to keep those urges under control.
I also incorporate lots of mobility and flexibility work into my programs. There’s no point looking amazing if you can’t pick something off the floor without making old people noises! As we age, flexibility and mobility have to be at the forefront of any exercise program to keep us feeling well and pain free. Also, I like to mix up exercise as much as possible so you are avoiding giving the same joints a pounding over and over again which can lead to overuse injuries. For example, walking, HIIT, strength and yoga is a great weekly combo for cardio, strength and flexibility.
As women age, too much high-intensity exercise (HIIT) can increase the stress hormone cortisol. Exercise of any kind increases cortisol but the amount released is determined by intensity and duration. I like to call cortisol one of the master hormones because when it is out of whack it has a major effect on all other hormones. This is especially true for women that have high cortisol levels already due to lifestyle stressors. There is a lot of pressure on women to be perfect home makers and parents, have a successful career and have the perfect body. Unfortunately, when you are pushing your body to the max in all different areas then something has got to give. If you are already under the pump with work and family and you add a heavy training schedule into the mix, then it can take your body to breaking point. High cortisol = fat storage around the middle. The key is to ask yourself these questions:
- Am I tired but wired?
- Am I constantly running around and struggle to find time to rest?
- Am I forcing myself to exercise even though I feel sore and exhausted?
- Am I storing belly fat around the middle despite eating well and exercising like crazy?
- Am I constantly getting injured?
- Am I constantly getting sick?
- Am I extra tired after my workouts?
- Are my hormones a bit whacky?
If you are answering yes to a few or even all of these questions then you may actually be exercising too hard. I have found with some clients that adjustments to their exercise routine such as reducing the high-intensity training and increasing strength training, walking and yoga helped them to balance cortisol, feel better and lose weight. Sometimes, with exercise and cortisol, less is more!
Benefits of Outdoor Exercise
Human beings spent millions of years in the great outdoors then we locked ourselves away in gyms, offices and various other buildings a few decades ago. There are many benefits of outdoor exercise:
- Time in nature boosts mental health. Exercising in a beautiful, natural environment encourages the development of our soft focus. For example, we may acknowledge the rustling of leaves in a cool breeze or notice birds chirping in the trees. This helps us to recover from hard focus which occurs when we look at spread sheets or send emails.
- Training outdoors can help boost vitamin D levels. We require UV exposure from the sun to manufacture vitamin D in our body. Vitamin D is vital for bone health, immunity, cancer prevention, strong muscle and overall health.
- Walking barefoot in grass has been shown by research to decrease blood pressure, balance hormones, improve sleep and balance our nervous system. We are not designed to be surrounded by concrete!
- Generally training outdoors is super easy and very cheap if not completely free. I love my morning walks – get dressed, walk out of the house and come back an hour later after a beautiful walk – bliss!
- A fantastic way to get our step count up.
Online Exercise Classes
Online workouts have gained popularity over the past years. Worldwide lockdowns have also meant many of us have been stuck at home with nowhere but our backyard or living room floor to do some exercise.
An online weight loss exercise plan at home is a great way to maintain or get started with your weight loss journey as you can do the workouts in your own time, at your own pace and not have to worry about what you look like or what gym outfit you wear. They are also usually a lot cheaper than a gym membership! However, at-home workouts do remove aspects of accountability, so it is important that you are motivated to commit and set yourself up for success. I make sure that you have plenty to keep you motivated in my programs such as motivational chats, regular check ins and tips for progression. Online exercise programs can be extremely successful for weight loss and improvements in fitness. My online programs focus on exercise, mindset and nutrition. If one of these elements is missing, you are less likely to succeed.
Home Workout Program
To set yourself up for success with your weight loss exercise at home plan, you may want to establish a ‘home gym’ – a space in your backyard or even just a little nook to keep your exercise equipment and get you in the right mindset for movement. This home gym doesn’t have to be fancy – just a few simple pieces of equipment and a space big enough to move is enough to get started and encourage some motivation. Make sure you establish a consistent schedule, so you don’t find yourself postponing exercise every day and end up skipping the workout altogether. Figure out what time works for you – are you an early riser or a night owl? What will work best around the kid’s schedules? Schedule in every session and stick to it, and over time you will condition yourself to never miss a workout day. While most weight loss exercise at home workouts require no equipment, it can be useful to have some equipment nearby, especially when you get more advanced – equipment such as resistance bands and dumbbells help you increase the difficulty of a home workout to what suits you. You will need to increase resistance as you get stronger, fitter and leaner.
Helpful, inexpensive equipment includes:
- A few adjustable dumbbells. I like adjustable dumbbells because you can start of as easy as you like then increase weight and resistance as you progress.
- Skipping rope. Only if pelvic floor permits.
- Resistance bands. Avoid going for a super light band unless you need to at the start. You will grow out of it very quickly!
- Suspension trainers. These can hang from any door frame so they are super easy to travel with and can give you a kick ass workout.
- Exercise mat – exercising on an exercise mat or some soft flooring can also cause less stress for your hip and knee joints.
Weight Loss Workout Plan for Beginners
Getting started with exercise doesn’t have to be this big, scary moment. You can begin with 5 minute, easy workouts then build up to bigger, longer and heavier sessions with time. There are no hard and fast rules on getting started, you just need to move in whatever fashion suits. A 5 minute walk is better than no walk at all!
Some advice I give all beginners:
- Don’t worry about speed – go as slow as you need to go to feel comfortable.
- Avoid any movement that you know may cause you pain and discomfort on an ongoing basis. If your core is weak, start super slow and build up strength gradually – any move that causes back pain is not the move for you.
- Build endurance slowly – with weights, start with high reps with low weight.
- Avoid over-exercising – if you’re only just starting out, don’t go straight to high-intensity workouts every single day. Start small and slowly increase intensity and duration of workouts to prevent muscle soreness and injury.
- Get your muscles ready – make sure to warm up with a walk before running, and mobilise for at least 5 minutes before a workout. Warm muscles and joints are much less likely to get torn or injured.
- Notice how your body feels – it might be hard work, but if you really tune in to how your body is feeling you might actually notice you feel amazing! There is a reason that exercise is addictive.
- Be proud of yourself that you are completing each workout and becoming a stronger and healthier person after each session!
If you feel like you need a bit more guidance about how to get started on your exercise plan for weight loss, feel free to book an appointment with me for individualized advice on kickstarting your exercise and nutrition journey.
The weight management programs I have personally designed: 7-day Body Blast, Eat Train Glow and my 1-on-1 Weight Loss Programs all include online workouts that you do at home, with me as your instructor guiding you through.
My 12-week Eat Train Glow weight loss program has five different online exercise classes per week and encourages you to get to 10,000 steps every day.
My weight loss programs combine nutrition, exercise, mindset coaching and education to help you reach your weight loss goals with me beside you, encouraging you all the way.