This is what works for me:
Cardio – Elliptical or run 4-5 days\week first thing in the morning on any empty stomach (30 – 50 minutes, depending on how much time I have that day). We purchased a SOLE elliptical for our house a few years ago. My husband was hesitant to buy gym equipment for the house, but when I factor in the number of times that we have used it, it has paid for itself. I use the elliptical on weekdays and I run on the weekends with the kids in the stroller.
For weights, I use the P90X\P90X2 workout 2-3 days a week. This workout is tough and Tony Horton can be annoying at times, but it really works. I like it because it gives me a good full body workout and I really have no idea what to do for weight lifting. If I don’t have time to do the entire P90X workout, I just do some of the moves from these workouts.
You can also go to http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/. Click on the body part that you want to work and lift away!
A few things that I have learned about exercise:
1. There is no magic exercise that will make you thin. What you look like is determined 80% by nutrition, 20% by exercise. Focus on getting your diet right and then a little exercise (any exercise) will just speed up the weight loss process. I have always been pretty active but I didn’t start seeing real results until I started eating clean and eating frequently. Just make sure that you have some sort of resistance training in your routine. Do what you like to do. Abs are made in the kitchen!
2. Spot reducing – doesn’t work. My bottom half has always been my problem area so I would always work on that part and not focus as much on my abs and arms. You need to work all of your muscles to get a high metabolism. Your problem areas will work themselves out when you do this.
3. Exercise vs. sleep – which is more important? I often run into this problem. It is 10 pm before I know it, and I haven’t had time to do any exercise that day. I have learned that sleep is more important. If I don’t get enough sleep, I am cranky and I have a hard time focusing at work. If you do not get enough sleep, your metabolism will not function properly, which causes weight gain. So, on my super busy weeks, I choose sleep over exercise and just make sure that I am sticking to my clean diet.
Hope that helps!