Do you all know that 70% of weight loss is diet and only 30% is exercise? This means that you rarely "work your butt off" at the gym alone unless you change your eating habits. For six months last year I faithfully went to the gym for two hours a day, five days a week and nada... nothing. I did feel a bit better. My blood pressure went down and I firmed up a bit, but there was no evidence of any "size dropping" if you know what I mean. A lot of work for not enough pay off.
Apparently taking a walk isn't enough either. It used to be they would say walk two miles a day but that has been upped to four now. During our cardio - new studies suggest that we alternate fast with slow, one part fast to two parts slow. This gives yourself a chance to increase your heart rate and then bring it back down, which strengthens your heart (which is the point of cardio after all).
It's also important to build muscle in addition to doing cardio. This can mean 3 days a week on the weight machines at the gym or a good yoga class either at home or in a studio. Stretching and using your own weight as resistance is a great body builder.
I'm starting slow. I've been walking for 6 weeks now, changed my eating habits during that time gradually until I was ready to go all out vegan and today joined the gym to get a more balanced work out - and also gets me out of the cold New England weather.
Here's my tip for today... a yoga/body/lifestyle change course that gives some new and positive ideas and energy. You don't need to be overweight to take it. Again you can pay whatever you feel you can afford so if you are strapped for money, you can enjoy the benefits of the course for as little as $1. This course is fantastic! Yoga instructor Sadie Nardini teaches a very complete course called 21 Day Yoga Body. This is a holistic and very intelligent approach to health and worth your time if you just want to start the new year a more healthier you! She includes great yoga teachings and videos daily that you will be able to refer back to over and over again. Peace....