Are you sitting down? Well you might have an excuse this time. How did you do on last week's challenge?

This is the exercise challenge week. Here's what your challenge is this week.

It is to exercise 5 times this week and to stay active on the other 2 days.

Now before you get too intimidated at the thought of working out 5 days a week, just realize it doesn't have to be for 2 hours each time. There are some days I only workout for 10 minutes, if that is what I have time for.

The American Council on Exercise recommends exercising on as many days as possible during the week. So we are going to take advantage of every day.

I want you to do some sort of resistance training at least twice during the week as well. Resistance training can be lifting weights, body weight exercises, machine weights, exercise bands, isometrics, all of those are examples of resistance training. If you have health problems of course consult your doctor. If you don't know what you are doing consult a trainer to help you with your form and to design a program for you.

Stick to doing compound movements that work more than one muscle at a time, so you maximize your results. Exercises like pushups, squats, lunges, shoulder presses, etc...

Research has shown that people who include resistance training in their exercise regimen lose fat TWICE as fast as people who do not. Ladies, you WILL NOT get bulky and muscled up. It would take a female bodybuilder (the one you are afraid you will look like) a full year of dedicated, hard core training to gain 5 pounds of muscle. This will not be an issue for you.

Just know that the more muscle you have, the more fat calories you are burning even when you are just sitting around for more than 15 minutes. There are other health benefits as well, such as bone strengthening, fall prevention, beating up the bully who kicked sand in your face when you were skinny. Being stronger makes everything easier.

Trust me, I'm a powerhouse 😉

So that's the lifting part. You also need to do your cardio. Cardio can be running, walking, biking, rowing, jumping, etc... If you are already doing cardio, do 10% more. For instance, if you are doing 30 minutes at 4 mph on the treadmill, you can either go 10% faster (4.4 mph) or 10% longer (33 minutes).

You have to get out of your comfort zone. You can't keep doing the exact same workout and expect different results.

On the two days you stay active, that just means don't be a 10 toed sloth. Walk a dog (even if you have to borrow one), go on a hike, do some stretching, just do something physical. You're not trying to kill yourself, you are just keeping the blood flowing. Send your body the message that this is the new way of life, so get used to it. I am no longer going to sit around and let my body go to waste.

So in review:

1. Exercise 5 days a week

2. Make at least 2 of those workouts resistance training

3. Stay active on the 2 days you don't have a formal exercise plan