The Richmond Register

June 21, 2013

The busy person’s six-week guide to losing fat

Jack Rutherford
Columnist

RICHMOND — “There’s just no time to get in shape.”

If you’ve uttered these words more than once, chances are you’re feeling trapped and feeling the effects of a physically inactive lifestyle and no time to do anything about it.

You’ve packed on the pounds, your cholesterol and blood pressure have sky-rocketed, and you’re feeling lethargic.

Yet, despite your desire to get back in shape, with a wife and kids, a growing business, and aging parents to care for, where are you going to find the time to exercise?

All is not lost, however.

What you need is a simple, progressive plan to lose body fat. Not the kind that requires an hour or more a day, but one that is convenient, easy to do with a minimum of space and equipment and effective.

There are two considerations that must be addressed before you begin. The first is something you don’t need. And the second is something you do.

What you don’t need is the attitude that to get back in shape, you have to go at it hard and long.

Many mid-lifers have the idea that to get fit, they need to do what they did in high school. Long hours in the weight room, exhausting intervals on the track and the like. Forget that approach. It will result in injury or drop out, or both.

What you do need is a commitment to yourself to make your health and fitness a priority.

Busy guys everywhere are managing hectic lives while also managing their fitness.

It can be done. Here’s how.

Follow this six week plan and you’ll find yourself impressed with the results and wanting more.



Week One:

• 2 x 30 minute walks – outdoors with the family

• 2 x 30 minute resistance workouts – at home using body weight. Push-ups, crunches, pull-ups, lunges, planks, etc.

• 2 x 15 minute brisk walks outside or on a treadmill

• Adopt one new nutritional habit. For example, substitute fish for red meat, twice a week.

So instead of six to seven hours of exercise a week, plus travel time to the gym, we’ve started with two and a half hours, all of which can be done at home, if you want.



Week Two:

• 2 x 30 minute walks

• 2 x 30 minute resistance workouts (increase reps from week one by 10 percent)

• 2 x 20 minute brisk walks

• Add one nutritional habit (to build on the other). For example, substitute whole grain cereals and bread for white flour breads and cereals.



Week Three:

• 2 x 30 minute walks

• 2 x 30 minute resistance workouts (increase reps by 10 percent)

• 2 x 15 minute slow jogs

• Add one nutritional habit. For example, substitute low-fat dairy products – skim milk, low fat cheese, yogurt.



Week Four:

• 2 x 30 minute walks

• 2 x 30 minute resistance workouts (increase reps by 10 percent)

• 2 x 20 minute slow jogs

• Add one nutritional habit. For example, eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.



Week Five:

• 2 x 30 minute walks

• 2 x 30 minute resistance workouts (increase reps by 10 percent)

2 x 25 minute slow jogs

• Add one nutritional habit. For example, reduce sugar in the diet. Substitute water or diet sodas for sugary drinks.



Week Six:

• 2 x 30 minute walks

• 2 x 30 minute resistance workouts (increase reps by 10 percent)

• 2 x 30 minute slow jogs

Add one nutritional habit. For example, reduce salt and high-fat sauces, salad dressings, mayonnaise, etc.



By week six, you should see a marked improvement in your strength and stamina as well as a small reduction in body fat. All this with a mere three hours of exercise per week, far less time than you’d expect to do to get the same results.

The choice at the end of week six is to continue with the same three hour per week plan or bump up the time commitment for faster improvement.

Either way, you’re on the road to lower body fat and an improvement in fitness and health.