In a previous article, I mentioned the weight loss mantra of "Eat Less... Move More" and I wrote about how to choose the diet plan that could help you eat less. In this article I will discuss the "move more" part of the equation.
Starting and maintaining an adequate exercise program really is the "magic pill' which will jump start your weight loss program and make it easy to maintain your new weight after you reach your goal.
If you are not exercising on a regular basis, check with your Doctor first, he or she can give you guidance on what types of exercise would be safe for you to start with. Start small, doing just a little is far better that doing nothing.
Almost without fail, those who lose weight without including exercise, take a lot longer to reach their goal, they are also the ones most likely to regain all of the weight they lost and possibly even more.
What are the excuses for not exercising?
Can't afford expensive equipment... there are many exercises that require no equipment.
Can't afford to join health club... there are many exercises that do not require belonging to a health club.
Don't have time...y ou can exercise in small time increments, as little as 5 minutes at a time, 5 or 6 times a day, while not the preferred method, can still be effective.
Possibly the easiest, least expensive and one of the most effective exercise programs is simply walking. Nature gave us all of the equipment we need, all you need to add is a good pair of walking shoes, and the determination to improve your health. You don't have to start with a long walk or a fast walk. If you are not walking now, no matter how much you start with will be more than you were doing. If you are really out of shape, maybe only 5 minutes is all you can do at once, that's okay, do 5 minutes today, 6 minutes the next day and so on.
Here are some easy ways to start walking more, without thinking about it:
Park at the back of the mall parking lot.
Park a few blocks away from work, or get off the bus a few stops early.
Use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
You should shoot for 20-30 minutes as a minimum and really as long as you have time for. You should try to get up to about a mile in twenty minutes, this will be brisk enough to get you breathing faster and start burning calories. if you can't carry on a conversation, you are walking too fast.
Here are some of the health benefits that a walking program can deliver:
Walking conditions your heart and lungs, helps your body use oxygen efficiently. Helps reduce weight by burning fat and building muscle. Burns almost as many calories as running, but is much lower impact, therefore it is much easier on muscles and joints. Helps relieve stress, contributes to better sleep and overall wellness. Boasts the lowest drop out rate of any form of exercise, you are more likely to stick with it.
If you find that you get bored with walking, make a game out of it... how far is it to the next city or town from you? Keep a mileage log, when you have walked that distance mark it off on a map, by the time you get all of the way across the your country, you will probably have reached your weight loss goal, and be much healthier to boot. Listen to music or the news as you walk. If the weather gets cold where you live you may want to invest in a tread mill.
In addition to aerobic exercise, most programs should include at least some light weight lifting. Recent tests have shown that senior citizens who participate in some type of strength training or weight lifting program, have fewer broken bone, have more flexibility, are in better overall health, and live longer, there must be a message there. If you are starting a weight lifting program or strength training, it is very important that you follow correct form find a coach, or invest in a book or video to show you the proper technique. Shop at Mega Fitness - the Exercise Equipment Superstore! for books and videos. Or for a complete web-based program for women, check out the very popular Denise Austin Fit Forever site.
For extensive information check this site:
ACE Get You Moving
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636, or go to their Web site.
Which is best, aerobic exercise or weight training? Whether you're trying to lose weight, get into shape, or just stay healthy, both types of exercise are important for different reasons. Aerobic, exercise conditions your heart and lungs, helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and improves your endurance. Weight, or strength, training helps prevent the loss of muscle, and helps build new lean muscle that burns more calories by improving and keeping your metabolism going. Loss of muscle occurs naturally as you grow older. With strength training, you'll stay strong, and maintain good posture.
Tips for maintaining your exercise program:
Try to get in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three to five times a week, and 20 minutes of weight lifting two or three times a week.
Set aside a convenient, consistent time. Some people prefer early morning, an added benefit of early morning workouts is they tend to burn more fat calories. Others find that evening works best.
Do exercises that you enjoy, walking, swimming, biking, weight lifting, circuit training etc. are all great for your weight loss program.
Stick with it... it takes 21 days in a row of doing something, to form a new habit.
After you've reached your weight loss goal, keep up the exercise program, this will enable you to easily maintain your weight loss, with the added benefit of a healthier and less stressed you.
"To Your Health"
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Jimmie Newell is the webmaster for http://www.To YourHealth101.com, a health & wellness website, featuring editorials, tips, information and links addressing many of the health issues of today.