We all know it takes motivation to get in to the gym. Some days it is easier than others, but the good thing is that everyday is a new day and new opportunity to start making it a priority to go. I have already shared that there are many reasons why it is important to exercise and exercise regularly. Here are some tips on where to start off.

It's good to do 30-60 minutes of cardio at least 3-4 times a week (minimum). In my opinion girls tend to do too much cardio, and NEVER will see muscle tone because they ignore weight lifting. You need to supplement your cardio with weights, if you want to see tone. I along with many girls believed cardio was the one thing you need to do to lose weight, and I didn't want to "bulk up" so I stuck to it religiously. I did so much cardio, lost weight, and was still unhappy with my weight loss. I realized my results made me look skinny, but NOT toned or fit! Cardio does burn major calories (about 4x the calories of weight training) so is NEEDED when trying to maintain or lose weight.
Types of cardio workouts:
Stairmaster- beginner- Level 6 for 25 minutes
Middle- Level 7 for 30-35 minutes
Advanced- Level 8 for 40 minutes
Treadmill (steady state)- beginner-20-30 minutes level 6
Middle- 30 minutes level 6.5
Advanced option 1- 30 minutes level 7.4
Advanced option 2- 40 minutes level 7

Treadmill HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)-
BEGINNER- 5 min warm-up. 2 min level 5. 1 min level 7.5-8. (Repeat 6 times)-18 min
MIDDLE- 5 min warm-up. 1 min level 5. 1 min level 8-8.7. (Repeat 10 times)-20 min
ADVANCED- 5 min warm-up. 1 min level 5. 1 min level 8.8-9.4. (Repeat 10 times)-20 min

Weight Lifting for Beginners:

1.Start with a program that works all muscle groups 1-3 non-consecutive days a week.
2.Warm up with 5 minutes of very light cardio (I usually power walk)
3. Choose 1-2 exercises for each muscle group and do about 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise. After you start feeling comfortable you can add more weight.
4. If you exercise in a gym, you may want to start with machines so you have more stabilization for the movements and have less susceptibility to injuries.
5. For every 2-3 days of weight lifting you need a day with no weightlifting (cardio is ok) to restore and recover.
6. Each week try to add a little more weight to challenge yourself and build muscle (if you stay with those 5 lb dumbbells you won't see results, build any muscle, or get stronger, and NO you won't get bulky!)
Examples of exercises:
* Chest: bench press, chest press machine, pushups
* Back: Pull-ups (I use pull up machine for assistance), seated row machine, back extensions, lateral pull downs
* Shoulders: overhead press, lateral raise, front raise
* Biceps: bicep curls, hammer curls, concentration curls
* Triceps: tricep extensions, dips, kickbacks
* Lower Body: Squats, lunges, leg press machines, deadlifts, calf raises
* Abdominals: crunches, reverse crunches, oblique twists, pelvic tilts