“What is the best exercise to lose weight?”

I get this question a lot.

My answer:  What do you like doing?

If I tell you that spinning is the best exercise to lose weight/get in shape, but you hate being on a bike, then it isn’t the best exercise for you.

The best exercise for you is the exercise that you enjoy, at least enough to do a few times a week.  So, figure out what you like doing, what inspires you, motivates you, keeps you coming back for more, even when you don’t have a ton of energy.

What will get you out of bed in the morning because when you think about being done you know you’ll feel better and will be glad you did it?

What group class will draw you to it after school or work when it would be easy to just go home?

What friends can you join a neighborhood sports league with?

What would be FUN?

Do that. Go there.  Sign up.  Book it.  Join.  Commit.

Still not interested?
Then don’t call it exercise.  Call it moving your body.  Playing in the yard with your kids.  Having fun on the beach.  Walking to your favorite coffee house in the morning. Walking to…anywhere.

Don’t have time? 
A one hour workout is a mere 4% of your day.


What if you only have 30 minutes?
Make it count!  Be determined.  Make it intense. Work it. Own it.
Then get on with your day in a better mood, with more energy, and a side of pride.




“What are the best cardio machines at the gym?”
This is another question I get a lot. And again, I say, what do you like enough to push yourself on?

Sometimes I have the focus to push myself on one cardio machine for 40-60 minutes, and other days I mix it up between 2 0r 3 machines for 20 minutes each.

One of my favorite cardio workouts is to push myself intensely for a short amount of time is using a Tabata timer app on my phone. I set it for 20 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest, for 8 to 10 rounds. And when I work, I WORK. I push myself. Because I can do that for 20 seconds.

A few times I’ve done this workout on 4 different cardio machines, because I had more energy and interest in doing that than to slog along on a bike, counting the minutes. I can do that, I just don’t want to when there are other ways to get the job done more efficiently.

There are also times I quit gyms.
Yes, me!

Over the years, I’ve learned to follow my gusto.   I used to feel bad about what I wasn’t doing.  If I was boxing a lot I felt bad I wasn’t lifting weights.  If I was training for a marathon I felt bad I hadn’t been boxing for a while.

Then I realized that this is a great way to stay motivated and inspired and in shape.  Now I love changing things up every few months.  It’s great for my body and my brain.

If I have a specific goal, yes, I need to stay consistent and follow a plan. But when the race has been run, the goal has been reached, I switch gears if I feel like it.

A couple years ago I realized that I needed to take a break from the gym and just go for walks every day and do calisthenics to keep my muscles sharp.  It was delightful.  And then after about a month I got back to the gym

I’m also not afraid to cancel a gym membership entirely and go somewhere else with new, fresh energy for me.

My point is, be willing to try something new and be willing to switch things up when you’re not motivated anymore. You gotta keep your fitness fresh and inspiring just like the rest of your life.

Do you work with a trainer?
My clients know that while I have a plan for progressing them, they never know what the workout will be. We’re always going to stretch and warm up, but after that, the workout is a mystery. I’m often throwing in something new to challenge them and their fitness.

Even if we’re on a specific weight training routine I might one day switch the order of everything so that the body is fatigued at different times and has to respond accordingly.  Or I’ll hand them a jump rope when they would normally do jumping jacks.

Don’t be afraid to shake things up!

What if you can’t get to the gym or just don’t like the gym?

You can get a workout in anywhere!  For example, here is a quick workout you can do on a bench.  Modify to your fitness level as needed.
bench workout

  • Warm up with a set of jumping jacks
    Then starting at the top, center…
  • 15 step ups on each leg
  • 15 dips (for your triceps)
  • 15 split lunges each leg
  • 15 decline push ups (advanced)
    • you can also do incline push ups with your hands on the bench (beginner)
    • or regular push ups (intermediate)
  • 15 crunches
  • 15 in & outs (bottom 2 photos)

*Rest for 1-2 minutes, then repeat.
*Repeats for 2-4 circuits
*Stretch and drink water!

Need more info?
There is so much more I can share with you about exercise.  I hope these tips and ideas have helped and if you want more, or have questions, please email me at meagan@meaganmcbain.com

I’m here to help you!  Just remember, whatever you do, have fun doing it.

And don’t forget to…



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