WEIGHT MANAGEMENT ∙ 3 minute read

Exercise and weight loss: creating your action plan

By Ashton Sheriff | Medically reviewed by Dr Leah Gorodi

So, you've read up on the fundamentals of exercise and weight loss. What's next? Well, it's time to start building those learnings into your everyday routine. While there's no one size fits all for weight loss, let's look at some ways you can start putting together your own personal exercise action plan.

Get active in your day

It’s time to get active! Movement is key for weight loss because it helps you to burn more calories than you take in every day.

Ways you can stay active throughout the day even if you’re working are:

  • Set an alarm to ring every 2 hours to remind you to get up and walk for 5 minutes
  • Take the stairs instead of using escalators/lifts when travelling to and from work
  • Walk when doing errands instead of using a vehicle

Remember: movement leads to improvement. Stay as active as possible throughout the day to become fitter, make quicker weight loss progress, and be one step closer to achieving your goals.

Increase moderate exercise

Aim to do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise in your week. Exercise suggestions include:

  • Walking briskly
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Pilates
  • Yoga

Pick a form of exercise you enjoy doing (and is manageable for you) and try to do it for 30 minutes a day. You only need to do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise for 5 days to meet your 150-minute target.

After your first week, increase the duration of your exercise sessions by 5 minutes and build up to 250 minutes per week as you get more comfortable with exercising.

If it helps, grab a friend or partner and get them to join you for extra motivation!

Increase vigorous exercise

Let’s get that heart pumping! Your goal: complete a total of 75 minutes of vigorous exercise within a week.

Examples of exercises that can be performed at a higher intensity include:

  • Rowing on a rowing machine
  • Calisthenics
  • Jogging
  • Cycling

One way to achieve this exercise goal is to do high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This is where you alternate between performing exercises at a high intensity and medium intensity.

For example, you could try cycling on a stationary bike for 20 seconds at a high intensity, then cycling at a medium intensity for 30 seconds. Repeat this for 5-15 minutes, then switch to another exercise and use the same method.

Choose an exercise that you can handle at your current level of fitness. If you can’t do it at a high intensity at the beginning then don’t worry, simply start at a medium intensity and slowly increase the intensity over time.

Weight Loss Plan

Weight Loss Plan

Transform your body, transform your life.

Add resistance training

Start resistance training twice a week as part of your weekly routine. Resistance training is more commonly referred to as “weightlifting”, but it can also be any other type of exercise that places a load on your muscles.

Different types of resistance training include:

  • Weightlifting
  • Calisthenics
  • Pilates
  • Yoga

To get the most out of your resistance training routine, you can start by performing 10-12 repetitions (reps) of a given exercise. Ideally, you want to aim to do 3 sets of 10-12 reps per muscle group. Here’s a practical example of what that might look if you were to train your biceps with dumbbell curls (a popular weightlifting exercise):

  • Set 1: 10-12 reps
  • Set 2: 10-12 reps
  • Set 3: 10-12 reps

When you first start resistance training, pick exercises and/or weights you can manage. As you get stronger over time you can increase the difficulty of the exercises you pick or increase the heaviness of the weights you use.

Add balance training

Life is all about balance. Your fitness routine is no exception, which is why it's important to focus on balance training.

Training your balance helps to strengthen the small stabilising muscles that keep you and your joints stable. This can lower your risk of injuries and falls.

Try to train your balance twice a week. This can be done via specific balance training exercises (e.g. exercises performed on a Bosu ball or exercise ball) or by practising certain types of exercise that develop balance, such as yoga, tai chi, or pilates.