Weight loss is a tough nut to crack. There's tons of information out there on what to eat, what workouts to do, and how often to do them (we recommend this two-week clean eating plan and this four-week weight-loss workout schedule), but we wish there were more tips for those of us who know we need to be working out, but just can't fit it into our schedules as often as we'd like.
For those people, NASM-certified personal trainer Stan Dutton, who's also a head coach for the fitness app Ladder, has some concrete advice and a few much-needed reminders. "A workout schedule comes down to what you can do consistently," he told POPSUGAR. Exercising four to five days a week, as is usually recommended, might be helpful for hitting weight-loss goals, he said, but you shouldn't stress if that's just not doable for you.
Stan's advice on losing weight with exercise: "Focus on getting as close to four workouts per week as you can," and whatever you do, don't blame yourself or feel guilty if you can't hit that number. "Like I tell all my clients, something is better than nothing," Stan said. "Even if it's 15 minutes of bike riding or bodyweight exercises on a busy day, you'll get more from that than you would from not exercising."
Within those four (or five, or three) days of exercise, Stan recommends including at least one cardio day and one strength training day, and we've got beginner cardio and weightlifting workouts to help you get started. "The most effective workout is the one you enjoy doing," Stan added, and both cardio and strength training come in many shapes and sizes. You can run, swim, or hit the elliptical for cardio, and if you don't like weightlifting, resistance band workouts (like this 15-minute option) can help you build muscle.
And whatever workouts you choose, the advice to do what you can and be proud of it — no matter how much or how little it might be — is a reminder we all need from time to time.