30 Minutes To A New You – Applying the Exercise Principles

February 8

In the previous posts we described my ten exercise principles and talked about each one. Now we will take those principles and apply them to your daily workout.

Based on my ten principles, the 30 Minutes To A New You exercise program will help you transform not only your body but also your entire life! Ladies, by applying these principles, you will actually see the results of how nutrition and exercise work together to help you achieve a healthy body and lifestyle.
Your greatest opportunity for success lies in your ability to take control of your health by adding as little as 30 minutes of exercise to your daily routine. Think it, believe it, achieve it.

I recommend the following formula for your success: days one, three and five engage in aerobic activity and days two, four and six should be dedicated to resistance training. I strongly urge you to rest on the seventh day. Remember the eighth principle and get plenty of rest. Your body needs time to adjust and rebuild after physical activity and that day of rest will help ward off any injuries from overusing your muscles.

My exercise program has three workouts to choose from: The Total Body Workout, The Upper Body Workout and the Lower Body Workout. I recommend the following exercise schedule:

Day One: Fun Day
Day Two: Total Body Workout
Day Three: Fun Day
Day Four: Upper Body Workout
Day Five: Fun Day
Day Six: Lower Body Workout

As with any exercise program, I strongly advise you to seek advice from your physician before beginning this program. Only your doctor can determine if you are healthy enough for physical activity.

In the following posts, we will go into detail on each workout. I’ll give you instructions on how to do specific exercises, explain which muscles are affected and suggest the number of repetitions you need to do in the beginning, in the secondary level and in the advanced level of the exercise.

Please read the descriptions of each exercise for proper form and execution and refer to the photos if you need a visual guide. Wherever possible, I have included alerts for those of you who need a modification due to a physical limitation.

Please know that modifications do not suggest weakness or inability. Modifications are given to keep movements safe and effective no matter what the health issue. Also, look for the ☺Take it to the Next Level notes. These are given so that as you progress, you can further challenge yourself.

If you haven’t lifted weights in a while, or never lifted weights before, go easy in the beginning to be safe. Start off with 1 to 3 pound weights and then as you progress you can increase your weights. As some muscle groups are stronger than others, you may want to try a variety of weights for the different exercises.

A good rule is that during the exercise program, your muscles should feel challenged but not struggling. If your muscles ache or your have cramps in your legs, this could be a sign of dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids, especially water.

Now, usually the day after your workout is when you can tell whether you lifted too much weight or just the right amount. The muscles that you worked may feel sore, this is a condition known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It’s a natural response to exercise.

But if you experience pain in your joints during exercise, you may need to reduce the weight, reps, and/or sets. If your joints continue to be sore, I recommend consulting with your medical professional to find out what is causing the problem before it progresses.

Remember that your core is the center of your strength. By engaging your core with each exercise, you will build these central muscles that allow you to do so much. It’s a mind/body connection that will bring your workout to a whole new realm.

Keep in mind that as you diet to burn fat and exercise to build muscle, you may not see a big change in the scale when you step on. As we discussed in Explaining the Exercise Principles, Part 4, you are not just a number on the scale. Look at yourself in the mirror. If you like the changes that you are seeing, then you are doing something right.

Beware Of Saboteurs
Set your goals. Stick with them. Don’t let others try to sabotage your fitness program. Everyone has an opinion, so do you. The only opinion that really matters is yours.

When I first started going to the gym, I was told not to do cardio exercises and a whole bunch of non-solicited advice about what was best for me.

Now, whom should I listen to? Me, of course! I’ve found what works for me and I want to help other women find what works for them too.

There is always a “know it all” who criticizes what others do. I find them in most places I go, so I try to just smile politely or ignore them all together.

Listen, the better you look, the more inclined others may be to take you down a notch. Some may tell you that you look great while others may say you look too thin. People tend to feel a bit jealous when they see “one of their own” achieving a great feat. Don’t let anyone, be it a friend or foe, destroy your dream.

If you can encourage others to join you, bring them along, it’s always fun to have a workout partner. But don’t allow anyone to get in the way of your goals. Stay focused on what you want then make plans to achieve it.

Finally, let me say, my deepest hope is that you will enjoy doing these exercises and will use them to challenge yourself to a healthier lifestyle.

Remember, working out is something you are doing for yourself — for the one person who really does matter.

We value your opinion; start a discussion in the comment space below:

~ Karen Ficarelli

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Posted In: Exercise


  1. Seems like some good cardio exercises I will have to try out at home.
    I have a blog about cardio at home where I have presented a lot of simple home cardio exercises you can do without any expensive equipment. aerocardio.com

  2. cardio exercises on 02/13/2010 at 4:05 pm
  3. i can just say.. WOoow :)) i dont mean for the exercise schedule but for the motivation that is in this post :) i just love it, keep up the good work 😉 and thank you.

  4. crazybaby on 04/08/2010 at 1:03 pm

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