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The ONLY Exercise You Need To Do

The ONLY Exercise You Need To Do

There is a lot of advice out there about what kind of exercise you should do for weight loss.


Don’t fall into the perfectionist’s All-Or Nothing Trap: the idea that you have to do the perfect exercise for weight loss, at the perfect time of day, for the perfect amount of time – or there’s no point doing anything at all. This is a classic case of setting yourself up to fail. Much better to succeed at what you will do that to fail at what you won’t.

Much better to succeed at what you will do that to fail at what you won’t.

16 Exercise Rules To Ignore

Here are 16 rules that you can completely ignore if you so wish:

  1. You should exercise in the morning
  2. You should do interval training
  3. You should lift weights
  4. You should do cardio
  5. You should run
  6. You should walk
  7. You should join a gym
  8. Yu should work out outdoors
  9. You should do group fitness classes
  10. You should do workout videos
  11. You should do yoga
  12. You should do Pilates
  13. You should get a personal trainer
  14. You should do bootcamp
  15. You should do 30 minutes a day
  16. You should cross train

1 Exercise Rule To Obey

  1. You should do whatever exercise you will actually do. ANYTHING.

As long as you do it, it’s the perfect exercise.

Forget morning versus evening, indoor versus outdoor, personal trainer, gym, etc. Doesn’t matter if it’s in the gym, outdoors, walking, stairs in your building, whatever.

You just have to not hate it. Bonus if you kinda like it.

The Secret About The Exercise You Do

If you’ve ever know someone who lost weight after taking up exercise, even someone (like me) who’d always hated it, ask them about this.

Because the great thing about the exercise you DO do, is that, when you keep doing any kind of exercise, this happens

  • You get better at it
  • You become fitter
  • Your body starts to change
  • You become more confident.

In other words, you develop a feeling of mastery that comes from repetition and learning.

That in itself is coo, but it gets better. These nice feelings may cause other reactions:

  • You may want to increase your frequency
  • You may want to increase your intensity
  • You may want to try new forms of exercise.

Compare the results described above with the results that come from from that perfect exercise you never do:

  • You don’t do it
  • Nothing changes
  • But now you also feel bad that you’ve failed
  • Making you more resistant to the idea of exercise



Much better to succeed at what you will do that to fail at what you won’t.

My Story

Every January my gym gets an influx of new members wanting to get fit or lose weight for the new year.

Over the years I’ve noticed a definite pattern and can now predict the ones who will still be there in May versus the ones who’ll be gone by February.

There’s one type of exerciser who’s there every day. They work out really hard and they’re at the gym for ages and they look miserable. Yep, you guessed it, they’re not long for the gym world.

Then there’s the second type of exerciser. They come in pretty consistently, but you see them doing different things – trying out a range of classes and machines.

After a while they seem to settle in to a routine.

  • They like spin classes several evenings a week and do boxing on Saturday.
  • Or they’ve found a rhythm with the treadmill and some weights.
  • Or they’re in the pool most mornings.

It’s not all-or-nothing, and they put up with the uncertainty of trying something new for the potential gain of discovering something they like.

They find their routine, they get better, and they stay.

My Story

Several years ago, just before I lost a lot of weight, spin classes were a big thing.

I was keen to lose weight and I’d been going to the gym for a while, but not getting good results. I made a bunch of changes – the very strategies you’re reading about in this program – and one of them was trying different classes at my gym, to find the right exercise for me.

Because spin was supposedly the fat-stripper du jour, I tried a spin class.

I hated it. Hated the music. Hated the unfathomable boredom. Hated the rows of bikes in neat orderly lines. Hated the supposed story that we were doing a scenic ride. Hated the claustrophobia of the closed door and the room filled with sweaty bodies.

After about 40 minutes of this hell I checked the clock. Four minutes had elapsed.

Now I myself did what I recommend you do when test-driving a new form of exercise. I went back and tried another class. In fact I did about a dozen classes – different instructors, different music – to see if spin grew on me. It did not. It remained the place where time stood still.

I went on to try other classes (I’d previously been doing my own thing with cardio machines) and eventually found one that suited me and was one of the reasons I lost weight and keep it off – despite living in a world of cheese and red wine and chocolate.

I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

Case In Point

Sally is always complaining about how fat she feels.

If anyone suggests things she could try, she cuts them off.

I know what I need to do, I need to run after work. Running is such a great calorie burner. I just need to run a few times a week and the weight will drop off. 

But she never feels like running, especially after work. She comes home tired, tosses her bag and coat on the back of a chair and she’s done.

There may be other things she’d be willing to do after work – perhaps meet friends at the gym for a Zumba class, or take a brisk walk around the block with her husband after dinner.

There may be other times she’d be willing to run – perhaps a short run before work a few times a week.

There may be other options entirely – perhaps a walk at lunchtime or a cycle class before work.

But she won’t consider things she would actually do because she has in mind the one perfect exercise. Unfortunately, it’s one she won’t do.

Much better to succeed at what you will do that to fail at what you won’t.

Experiments To Try

Might you enjoy:

– Going for a long walk before or after breakfast at the weekend

– Doing something active with the kids

For You To Do

Find your ideal exercise

Personal training

Could be for you if

Group fitness

Could be for you if

Join a gym

Could be for you if

Get a treadmill or bike for home

Could be for you if

Fitness videos

Could be for you if


Could be for you if

Boxing classes

Could be for you if