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What Exercise plan should I follow when using Wegovy or Mounjaro

What Exercise plan should I follow when using Wegovy or Mounjaro

Rajive Patel NowPatientGreen tick
Updated on 10 Nov 2023

If you’re considering using Wegovy or Mounjaro as part of your weight loss journey, it’s important to understand that these medications are not a magic solution. While they can aid in weight loss, they work best when combined with a comprehensive lifestyle approach that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. In this article, we will discuss the importance of exercise when using Wegovy or Mounjaro, and provide you with an effective exercise plan to help maximize your weight loss results. Before we do that let’s take a look at what kind of drugs Wegovy and Mounjaro are.

Understanding Wegovy and Mounjaro

Mounjaro is a weekly injection that contains the active ingredient tirzepatide manufactured by American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. Wegovy, also known as semaglutide is manufactured by Novo Nordisk and is also a once-weekly injection. Both prescription drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are intended to be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.

Wegovy is currently FDA-approved for chronic weight management in adults and teens with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or higher or those with obesity (BMI of 30 or higher) and weight-related health conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Mounjaro is a diabetes drug approved to treat type 2 diabetes and is not a weight loss medication. However, it is often prescribed off-label for weight loss due to its significant impact on weight reduction.

How do Wegovy and Mounjaro work?

Mounjaro and Wegovy belong to a class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists (glucagon-like peptide-1). These medications mimic the actions of GLP-1, an incretin hormone that stimulates insulin secretion in the pancreas, gastric emptying, and appetite. By activating GLP-1 receptors for an extended period, Mounjaro and Wegovy help lower blood sugar levels, slow down digestion, control cravings and increase satiety.

Mounjaro in addition to being a GLP-1 agonist is also a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) mimetic which Wegovy is not. This makes Mounjaro unique among GLP-1 medications like Ozempic and Wegovy, because it mimics two hormones at once, as opposed to one. Mounjaro is the first and only approved once-weekly GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonist. It is a single molecule that targets the body’s receptors for GIP and GLP-1, which are natural incretin hormones.

Side effects of Wegovy and Mounjaro

Like any medication, Mounjaro and Wegovy come with potential side effects. The most common side effects seen with both medications include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain. These side effects are often mild to moderate and tend to subside over time as the body adjusts to the medication. However, in some cases, these side effects can be severe enough to lead to treatment discontinuation.

There are also rare but serious side effects associated with these medications. For example, both Mounjaro and Wegovy carry a boxed warning for the potential risk of thyroid tumors, including cancer. Other rare side effects include pancreatitis, gallbladder issues, low blood sugar and kidney problems. It is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of these medications with your healthcare provider before starting treatment.

Importance of exercise for weight loss

Exercise plays a vital role in achieving and maintaining weight loss. It helps to increase calorie expenditure, build muscle mass, improve cardiovascular health, and boost metabolism. Combining exercise with medications like Wegovy and Mounjaro can enhance weight loss results and improve overall health.

Consultation with a healthcare provider

Before starting any exercise program, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or physical limitations. They can provide personalized recommendations and help tailor an exercise plan that suits your needs.

Types of exercise for weight loss

When incorporating exercise into your weight loss journey with Wegovy or Mounjaro, it is important to include a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training.

Cardiovascular exercise

Cardiovascular exercises, also known as aerobic exercises, are excellent for burning calories and improving cardiovascular fitness. These exercises increase your heart rate and breathing, resulting in an increased calorie burn. Some examples of cardiovascular exercises include:

  • Walking: Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week
  • Running or Jogging: Running or jogging is a higher-intensity form of cardiovascular exercise that can help burn calories more rapidly. Start with shorter durations and gradually increase your time and intensity
  • Cycling: Cycling, whether indoors on a stationary bike or outdoors, is a great way to engage large muscle groups and burn calories
  • Swimming: Swimming is a low-impact, full-body workout that is gentle on the joints. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals with joint pain or injuries
  • HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training): HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief periods of rest. This form of exercise can be highly effective for calorie burning and improving cardiovascular fitness

Strength training

Strength training, also known as resistance training, is essential for building lean muscle mass. Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest compared to fat tissue, so increasing muscle mass can boost your metabolism. Some examples of strength training exercises include:

  • Weightlifting: Using free weights, resistance bands, or weight machines, perform exercises that target major muscle groups. Aim for 2-3 sessions per week, allowing for a day or two of rest in between
  • Bodyweight exercises: Exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks can be performed without any equipment and are effective for building strength and muscle
  • Pilates: Pilates focuses on core strength and stability and can be beneficial for toning muscles and improving posture

Exercise frequency and duration

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week for general health benefits. However, when aiming for weight loss, it is often necessary to increase the duration and intensity of exercise.

Aim for 300 minutes or more of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 150 minutes or more of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week to achieve significant weight loss. This can be divided into 5 or more days of exercise sessions. Additionally, incorporate strength training exercises at least 2-3 days per week, targeting all major muscle groups.

Warm-up and cool-down

Before starting any exercise session, it is important to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for the workout. A warm-up can include light aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking or jogging, along with dynamic stretches that target major muscle groups. This helps increase blood flow to the muscles and reduces the risk of injury.

Similarly, after completing your exercise session, it is important to cool down and stretch. Cooling down allows your heart rate to gradually return to normal and helps prevent muscle soreness. Perform static stretches, holding each stretch for 10-30 seconds, targeting the muscles used during the workout.

Monitoring intensity

Monitoring exercise intensity is essential to ensure you are working at an appropriate level. The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale is a useful tool to gauge your exercise intensity. It ranges from 6 to 20, with 6 being no exertion at all and 20 being maximal exertion. Aim to work at an RPE of around 12-16, which corresponds to a moderate to vigorous intensity level.

Additionally, using a heart rate monitor can help you track your heart rate during exercise. The target heart rate zone for moderate-intensity exercise is generally between 50-70% of your maximum heart rate, while vigorous-intensity exercise may target 70-85% of your maximum heart rate. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine your target heart rate range.

Progression and variation

To continue making progress and prevent plateaus, it is important to gradually increase the intensity, duration, and frequency of your exercise sessions. This can be achieved by increasing the resistance, speed, or incline of your workouts. Additionally, incorporating different types of exercises and varying your routine can help prevent boredom and engage different muscle groups.

Safety considerations

While exercise is generally safe and beneficial, it is important to exercise with caution and prioritize safety. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind:

  • Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts
  • Listen to your body and rest if you experience pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise
  • Use proper form and technique to prevent injuries. Consider working with a certified fitness professional or personal trainer to ensure proper form
  • Wear appropriate footwear and clothing for exercise
  • If you have any underlying medical conditions or concerns, consult with your healthcare provider before starting a weight loss program

Additional tips for exercise success

In addition to following the exercise plan outlined above, here are some additional tips to help you succeed:

  • Find activities you enjoy: Choose exercises that you enjoy doing, as you’re more likely to stick with them long-term. Try different activities, such as dancing, hiking, or group fitness classes, to find what you love
  • Stay consistent: Consistency is vital when it comes to exercise. Make it a habit to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Schedule your workouts and treat them as non-negotiable appointments with yourself
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise to stay hydrated. Proper hydration is essential for optimal performance and recovery
  • Get support: Consider exercising with a friend or joining a fitness group to stay motivated and accountable. Having a support system can make your weight loss journey more enjoyable and successful


Incorporating regular exercise into your weight loss journey with Wegovy or Mounjaro can greatly enhance your results. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program, and aim for a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts, monitor your exercise intensity, and prioritize safety. With the right exercise plan and medication, you can achieve your weight loss goals and improve your overall health.


Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information in this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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