@HumarockBride: Athletic and Non-athletic refer to how in shape you’re in. A good rule of thumb is:
Athletic: works out at least 30 min at least 3 times per week
Non-Athletic: occasionally works out or works out without breathing hard
One common mistake people make is they set a goal of being on the treadmill for 30 minutes, but they don’t pay attention to how fast they are going or how hard they are working. Getting in shape means you need to push your limit, get outside your comfort zone. Walking at 2mph 0% incline doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as 2mph 4% incline. You’re going to be on that treadmill anyway, why not make it count?
To lose weight, you have to change your metabolism. One way to do that is through diet. Take the weight you want to be and multiply by 10. That is how many calories you need to eat per day to sustain that weight. If you eat less, your body may fear it is starving and slow your Resting Metabolic Rate (or RMR), which is how many calories you burn everyday without exercising. You want to keep that high, so eat enough!
Example: My goal weight is 150lbs, so I need 1500 calories per day to sustain that weight. If you consume more, you’ll weigh more. You can eat 100-200 calories less, but on days you’re working out you need the energy, so eat all 1500 calories!!
For exercise: a new study has shown that you need to work out for at least 60 minutes in order to lose weight. The first 30 minutes of your workout conditions your heart and lungs to work better (which is good, it keeps you fit) but it won’t spur weight loss. So devote 60 minutes per workout, and make sure that your heart rate is 65% to 85% of your max. HumarockBride said you’re not very fit, so probably stay in the 65% range.
For my workouts, I do interval training, which means that I jog, then sprint, then walk, then jog, then sprint, etc. What this does is raise my heart rate throughout my workout, forcing my muscles and lungs to be more efficient with the oxygen. (Stated simply it increases endurance and speed). Going 5mph used to be like sprinting for me, I couldn’t do more than a couple minutes at a time. Now I’m jogging at 5mph and sprinting at 9mph!
To do interval training, start at a brisk walk to warm up for 2 minutes. Go into a jog for 3 minutes. Then sprint for one minute. Walk briskly until your heart rate returns to 65%, then jog for two minutes. Sprint again for one min. Walk again. Jog for three min. Sprint. Walk. Jog 2 min. Sprint. Walk. Jog 3 min. and so on until you are done. It’s exhausting, but since you determine your own speeds, you can make it as hard or as easy as you feel you can do that day. Some days I can only sprint at 7mph. That’s ok. Just get through an hour. It really pays off. Since 1 Jan I have lost 2 sizes, 3% body fat, and 10 lbs.
Try to remember your reason for working out…why are you on that treadmill? It will keep you motivated! One good reason: the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn in your sleep! Your RMR will go up, so as you have more muscle, you’ll have to work out less to lose the same amount of weight. Cool huh?
FUN FACT: Mr. Universe has to eat every 2 hours to maintain his physique. He even wakes up in the middle of the night to eat! Don’t you wish you had to eat to keep from losing weight??