Here’s a nonsense syllable to help you achieve your goals: “FID.” Workouts should have frequency, intensity, and duration.
F—Frequency. You should work out about three times per week. I worked out as frequently as six times per week when I was in hard training for a fight, and I have worked out as little as twice per week when I was “peaking” for a power lifting meet. I have found that working out three to four times per week allows plenty of time for recuperation and provides good health benefits.
I—Intensity. You must push yourself a bit in order to succeed. Someone said, “Nothing succeeds like excess.” Use the normal caution, but every now and then, push yourself. If you can easily walk a mile in 15 minutes, walk with light dumbbells or try to finish the mile in 14 minutes. You get the picture.
D—Duration. Workouts should last long enough to really be a workout. You will build up to this, of course. I find that exercising for an hour is usually plenty. When we think of duration, think beyond just the time of an individual workout. Think of staying fit for your entire life. That’s duration!
To sum up: plan on working out three to four times per week; push yourself and plan on a workout that will last about an hour; and plan on keeping to this schedule for a lifetime. You will find the truth of Psalm 19:5 as you begin your program: Rejoice “like a strong man to run its race” (New King James Version).
Exercise doesn’t need to be drudgery. A modest home gym consisting of a few dumbbells, a mat, and a jump rope will get you started. You can add equipment purchased at garage sales as you make progress.
Dale Holzbauer is a minister, adjunct professor, and church consultant living in Xenia, Ohio. He is a fourth-degree black belt, former pro fighter, and has a class one rating in Olympic lifting and power lifting.