100 Minutes OF Exercise Weekly
I am asking you to build to at least 100 minutes each week of moderate to high-intensity exercise.
When you get 100 minutes of exercise each week, you unlearn the lessons of past failures, and see instead that you are strong and capable. You train your mind as you train your body, gaining the power to push through discomfort while building lean muscle and burning fat.
Exercise, as we are defining it here, is something that gets your heart rate up and stresses the muscles, a specific, planned, purposeful physical activity. It is not the same thing as “movement,” which is why I have separated these concepts into two targets. Examples of exercise include running, weight lifting, biking, and yes, yoga and even walking.
Each of us will take aim at this target from our own unique starting point, depending upon our fitness level. I love walking as a “gateway drug” for those who are just starting out. The key to this target—and every target—is giving yourself permission to start from wherever you are now.
The reason I want you to exercise has nothing to do with burning calories. Nope, from my perspective, exercise is the magical secret sauce that teaches you what you are made of. It shows you that you are stronger than you know. It erodes self-doubt and builds the confidence you will need to take this program forward long term.
Exercise is difficult. It challenges us to schedule and think ahead. It forces us to put ourselves first. Most importantly of all, it makes us uncomfortable. The physical, mental, and emotional discomfort that you experience during exercise is the key training you will need to be able to make difficult food choices, to manage the emotions that send you running to the fridge, to face all the other discomforts and frustrations that will undoubtedly occur over the course of the weight-loss process.
Changing your life requires understanding how to push through difficult times, and for most of us, there is no other place to flex those muscles regularly than during exercise.
THE OTHER FIVE TARGETS
Don't Eat Your Exercise
My rule is that exercise isn’t currency: it doesn’t “buy” you anything. Stop giving yourself permission to eat more because you exercised that day (unless you are well beyond the target of 100 minutes).
Make exercise about achieving physical goals, about running farther or faster, about learning to dance or lifting heavier weights. See these accomplishments for what they are rather than burying them under food choices.
Use exercise to show yourself that by consistently taking small steps forward, you can do what seems impossible.