Exercise

Creating a lighter, healthier you is a multi-step process. One of the most important steps, and the main focus of this section, is exercise. Here we explore everything from the benefits of exercise to how much and how often it is necessary to promote weight loss.

Soreness Isn't a Sign of Progress

Don't get lured into a false sense of progress based on your pain levels. Soreness simply isn't an indicator of your activity level and how many calories were burned. Therefore, the pain doesn't mean that you're making progress.

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Your muscles need to rest. Below you'll find a sample workout schedule to use.

Recovery is Key

Many people show pride in the soreness. However, it's not a sign of measureable fitness progress, and it can also mean some bad things for your body.

Anytime you try something new or even add more reps to your routine, your muscles will be sore as they adjust. If you're constantly adding to your workout routine, your soreness could be a sign of strained or damaged muscles. This is particularly true if you're finding yourself sore after every workout.

Your body needs time to recover from a major workout. You have to remain consistent in your recovery. Remember: your body needs about a day between workouts of the same muscle groups to avoid damage. The only thing more exercise to that muscle group will do is cause more pain & potential damage.

I don't want you working out to the point of soreness every time, because it can be discouraging. When you feel sore, you're more likely to skip your next workout to "rest". Instead of letting soreness get in the way of your new active lifestyle, do a recovery-style workout with lower intensity that won't over-tax muscles. Create a schedule (like the sample below) to work different muscle groups. Walking is another great option in between workouts.

When you've found the best fitness program for you, you should be sore some days and not others. This means you have a balanced mix of new activities to keep you on your toes and the lower intensity recovery you need.

Download Sample Workout Schedule

Dose of Inspiration

I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse. -Florence Nightingale

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on December 09, 2016. Updated on January 27, 2017.

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