Michelle Ishio (Resident Post Pregnancy Rehab Specialist and Fitness Expert)
Many times, it's not the not knowing what you can do that is the problem for many, what hinders most people is the lack of discipline. As far as "what to do", so what you like. It doesn't matter, just get moving. Jump-rope, do some punches and kicks that you learned in a group class in the past, add some push-ups and crunches intermittently with some dance moves you used to do back in the day, etc. Just get moving and solidify your discipline and commitment to yourself!
Many experts recommend that you exercise up to 90 minutes most days of the week, (or if not now, work towards that goal).
However, study's found that participants who exercised for aboout 20-30 minutes did so more consistently than those involved in 60 minute workout sessions, hence, for some, shorter workouts help with discipline.
These study show that many people are more likely to have discipline sticking to a shorter duration workout, which is better on a consistent basis on most days of the week, rather than a couple 1 hour sessions within the same week.
Some then might ask, if you do a coule one hour sessions a week, (2 hours a week), rather than five 20-30min work-outs, doesn't that equal to the same amount of time within the same week?
If you absolutely only have a couple days a week, then that's what you are working with. The benefit of spreading all the minutes into 5 days, rather than 2 days is, although the calories burned, (if doing similar work-outs as far a calorie burning goes), then yes, calorie wise, it would be the equivalent. However, there are many more exercise benefits besides "calorie burning".
Now-a-days, most of us have stressful lives that zap our mood and energy. We get winded doing regular tasks around the house/yard or with our children. We often times do things for everyone else and neglecting adding ourselves to the list.
By exercising on most days of the week, it will boost your energy and moods on a regular basis through-out the week, as well, remind ourselves that we matter just as much as everything else that we are prioritizing.
For discipline purposes, even if you aren't in the shape or still don't feel that you have the time to go 20-30min on most days of the week, at least find the consistent 5 days you can exercise and just get going with 15min sessions.
Be pro-active and just get the workout discipline going.
Remember, if workout discipline has been an issue, as it is with many people, doing these shorter work-outs with activities you feel inspired to do on that particular day, will keep you from "ditching" them, which means you will see a difference in your figure and your physical abilities. With the improved figure and physical abilities, better energy, moods, and showing yourself that you are just as important as everything else, it will boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.
Eventually, you will have your 5 days of exercising set, and instead of let's say, 20min per session, you can easily increase it to 30min at some point or for some of the days...the main thing is you are setting a pro-active consistent habit, which will be a major part of your success.