Updated on April 8, 2016.
Spring is creeping up—the cherry blossoms have come and gone and DC style-setters are prepping their wardrobes for warmer weather. It’s also that time of year to shed some winter weight.
Celebrity fitness trainer Obi Obadike, who is also a cohost on Lifestyle Magazine’s health show and contributes workout videos to OWNZONES, shares 5 tips to begin living a healthier lifestyle and lose weight in the process.
Get a physical.
Obadike recommends getting a full physical and blood work every year. “A lot of people are afraid of going to the doctor because they don’t want to hear bad news,” Obadike says. “You need to know where you’re starting at in order to make any improvements.” Checking your cholesterol, vitamin levels, and blood pressure are all important in order to figure out a fitness routine that will work for you.
“The recommended minimum amount of cardio is 25 minutes, three times a week,” Obadike says. “But start off slow.”
According to the American Heart Association, those 25 minutes of cardio need to be “vigorous.” But if you’re not used to exercising regularly, walking is a good way to get started. From there, Obadike says you can build up to a walking-jogging combo, and then begin a running routine (30 minutes a day for three to five days). Eventually, you can work up to 45 minutes of cardio, three to five times a week, to see faster results.
If you’re short on time, Obadike recommends doing other cardiovascular exercises that get your heart rate up, such as jumping jacks or jumping rope.
Begin strength training.
“All you really need for strength training is your body,” Obadike says. “There’s no need for machines or weights—there’s really no need to even leave your home.” Obadike recommends a mash-up of basic exercises to work all of your muscles: sit-ups, push-ups, planks, lunges, and squats, 20 of each, and repeat two to three times for two to three days a week.
Follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to your diet.
“Eat well 80 percent of the time, and then splurge 20 percent of the time,” Obadike says. “This will keep you from binge-eating unhealthy foods, because you’re treating yourself now and then.”
If you’re a smoker—quit.
“These fitness routines can be much more difficult if you’re smoking,” Obadike says, “so I ask my clients to cut back or quit smoking entirely.”
Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of lung diseases and respiratory complications within one to two years, according to the American Lung Association, and after two weeks, the lungs begin to repair themselves.
“A healthy heart and cardiovascular system will make exercising and following a routine much easier,” Obadike says. “Exercise can help you get through the stress of quitting and help you make healthier choices.”