Exercise for Weight Loss 12 Weeks to Weight Loss Exercise Program Get Started on Your Weight Loss Program By Paige Waehner Updated November 12, 2017 Pin Flip Email Print Getty Images/Digital Vision More in Weight Loss Exercise for Weight Loss Basics Procedures Nutrition for Weight Loss Diet Plans Medications Pills and Supplements If your goal is to start exercising and lose weight, this 12-Week Program gives you all the tools you need to start exercising. You'll get: Cardio, strength training and flexibility workoutsBasic nutrition tips to help you eat healthy and reduce your caloriesWeekly calendars to organize your workouts and nutritional goalsMotivational tips to help you get your mind excited about exerciseThe tools you need to lose weight. If that sounds good to you, keep reading to find out how to get started. Your First Step Before you even lace up your workout shoes, your first step is to commit to your program every day. No matter what else is going on in your life, remind yourself of your fitness goals and give your workout the priority it deserves. Write it down and treat it just like any other appointment you wouldn't miss. And, if you find yourself falling off the fitness wagon, don't worry. This program will help you dig deep and find the strength to keep going. You may find it helpful to keep a workout journal to track your progress and keep you on the right track. If you've never exercised before, check out the Beginner's Corner to get the basics of getting started. If you want harder workouts, go to my Workout Center for more ideas. Modify the workouts to fit your fitness level. Before you get started: Check with your doctor before beginning if you have any injuries or illnesses or if you're on medicationTake your measurements and make a note of them. Re-take them every 4 weeks to track your progressDecide when you will workout (in the morning, at lunch or after work) and write it down in your calendar or fitness journalPlan and prepare your meals for the week beforehand, if you canUse every resource you have to motivate you, including your friends, family, and co-workersReward yourself at the end of each week for all your accomplishments, even if you didn't get all the workouts inUse a workout log to keep track of how much weight you're using and to track your progress. This isn't an easy program to follow - No program is easy, so just do the best you can. Some weeks you'll do great and others you won't. That's normal. Be sure to listen to your own body and do what's right for you. Every workout I give you is just a suggestion, so always substitute your own workouts if mine don't work for you. Your first step in getting started is to set your goals and get yourself ready for your new exercise program with the right shoes, clothes, and equipment. You'll also want to get some basic measurements down (weight, measurements, etc.) so you can track your progress. Your First 4 Weeks The following calendar includes all the cardio, strength, core and flexibility workouts to get you started during your first 4 weeks. Most weeks include 2-3 basic cardio workouts, 3 core workouts and 2 days of strength training. Each week, your workouts will change slightly so that you gradually build strength and endurance to move on to the next phase of the program. If you feel tired, sore or fatigued, feel free to take extra rest days. If you have other cardio workouts you like, you can also substitute those whenever you like. Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Mon - Choose 1~Beg Intervals~Beg Elliptical ~ Do your own ~Lower Body Stretch Mon - Choose 1~25 Min Intervals~Choose your own~Total Body Stretch Mon - Choose 1~25 Min Intervals~Choose your own~Total Body Stretch Mon - Choose 1~25-Min Cardio~Choose your own~Total Body Stretch Tues~Total Body Strength - 1 set~Beginner Abs Tues~Total Body Strength - 2 sets~Beginner Abs Tues~Total Body Strength-2 sets~Core Strength/Stretch Tues~Total Body Strength-2 sets~Core Strength/Stretch Wed - Choose 1~20-Min Cardio~Choose your own~Lower Body Stretch Wed - Choose 1~20-Min Intervals~Choose your own ~Total Body Stretch Wed - Choose 1~Choose 1-3 Workouts~Choose your own~Lower Body Stretch Wed - Choose 1~Choose 1-3 Workouts~Choose your own~Total Body Stretch Thurs~Total Body Strength - 1 set~Beginner Abs ThursActive Rest ThursActive Rest Thurs~Total Body Strength-2 sets Fri - Choose 1~Beg Intervals~Beg Elliptical~ Do your own ~Lower Body Stretch Fri - Choose 1~20-Min Cardio~Choose your own~Lower Body Stretch Fri - Choose 1~25-Minute Cardio~10-Min Blast-2.5 times~Choose your own~Total Body Stretch Fri - Choose 1~Beg Intervals~Beg Elliptical~ Do your own~Lower Body Stretch SatBeginner Abs SatTotal Body Strength - 1 set SatTotal Body Strength - 2 sets SatAbs and Core Workout SunRest SunRest Sun10 min walk Sun15 min walk Your Next 4 Weeks We ramp things up by increasing your cardio time and you've got some new strength, cardio, core and flexibility workouts to try. As always, take extra rest days as needed and feel free to substitute your own workouts if any of these workouts don't work for you. Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Mon - Choose 1~New! Beg Intervals-Level 3~ Do your own~New! Total Body Stretch Mon - Choose 1~Beg Intervals-Level 3~ Do your own~Total Body Stretch Mon - Choose 1~2-3 sets, 10-Min Cardio~Choose your own ~Total Body Stretch Mon - Choose 1~Choose 1-3 Workouts ~Do your own ~Lower Body Stretch Tues~New! Total Body Strength/Balance 1 set~Core Strength/Stretch Tues~Total Body Strength/Balance 1 set~Core Strength/Stretch Tues~Total Body Strength/Balance 2 sets~Abs and Core Workout Tues~Total Body Strength/Balance 2 sets~Abs and Core Workout Wed - Choose 1~25-Min Cardio~Choose your own~Lower Body Stretch Wed - Choose 1~New! 2-3 sets, 10-Min Cardio~Choose your own~Total Body Stretch Wed - Choose 1~Choose 1 of 3 Workouts~Choose your own~Lower Body Stretch Wed - Choose 1~3 sets, 10-Minute Cardio~Choose your own~Total Body Stretch Thurs~Total Body Strength and Balance 1 set~Beginner Abs ThursActive Rest ThursActive Rest Thurs~Total Body Strength/Balance 2 sets~Total Core Workout Fri -Choose 1~Beg Intervals-Level 3~ Do your own~Total Body Stretch Fri - Choose 1~25-Min Cardio~Choose your own~Lower Body Stretch FriCardio and Strength Circuit FriActive Rest SatNew! Total Core Workout Sat~Total Body Strength/Balance 1 set SatTotal Core Workout SatCardio and Strength Circuit SunRest SunRest Sun10 min walk Sun15 min walk Your Last 4 Weeks Your last four weeks take things to a higher level with new, longer cardio workouts, new total body strength workouts and, at the end of the program, new upper and lower body workouts to challenge more muscle groups and help you build lean muscle tissue. You'll also notice new circuit training workouts, which are great for saving time while helping you burn more calories. Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Mon - Choose 1~3 sets, 10-Min Cardio~Do your own~New! 10-Min Yoga Mon - Choose 1~New! 35-Min Boredom Buster~ Do your own~Lower Body Stretch Mon - Choose 1~35-Min Boredom Buster~ Do your own~Lower Body Stretch Mon~2-3 sets, 10-Min Cardio~New! Upper Body Tues~Total Body Supersets-1 set~ Total Core Workout Tues~Total Body Supersets-1 set~Abs and Core Workout Tues~New!-Total Body Superset Blast-1-2 sets~Standing Abs Tues~New! Lower Body/Core~Lower Body Stretch Wed - Choose 1~Beg Intervals~Beg Elliptical ~ Do your own~Total Body Stretch Wed - Choose 1~2-3 sets, 10-Min Cardio~Do your own~10-Min Yoga Stretch Wed - Choose 1~Choose 1 of 3 Workouts~Do your own~Total Body Stretch Wed - Choose 1~35-Min Boredom Buster~ Do your own~10-Min Yoga ThursActive Rest ThursActive Rest ThursActive Rest Thurs~Total Body Superset Blast-1-2 sets~Core Strength/Stretch Fri~Total Body Supersets-1 set~Abs and Core Workout Fri~Total Body Supersets-1 set~New!-Standing Abs Fri~New!-10-Min Home Circuit 2-3 sets~Total Body Stretch FriActive Rest Sat~20-Min Intervals~Do your own~10-Min Yoga Sat~Cardio and Strength Circuit - 2 sets SatStanding Abs Sat~10-Min Home Circuit 2-3 sets SunRest SunRest Sun10 min walk Sun15 min walk Was this page helpful? 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