Make Exercise a Regular Part of Your Life
Regular exercise helps to keep you healthy. In addition, it improves the fat/muscle ratio and the long term work-rate of the body, which will definitely assist weight maintenance in the long run. Also, it helps to re-shape parts of the body. For these (and many other reasons) exercise is essential for good health and long term weight management.
Regular Moderate Exercise is Best
Even if you are relatively fit, a little daily exercise is safer and more effective than a larger amount less often. Indeed, over-exercising can be unhealthy and may actually lead to weight gain..
Be Aware of Your Limitations
This is very important.
- If you’re unfit, or worried about your health, get professional advice before starting.
- Make a realistic exercise plan for yourself which you can accomplish without too much inconvenience or effort.
- Take things one step at a time and aim to gradually improve your overall fitness.
- Invest in some sensible, comfortable exercise wear, especially footwear.
- Never over-exercise or strain yourself. Too little is better than too much.
Exercise By Itself is Not the Answer
Exercise by itself is not the solution to weight loss. It must be combined with sensible eating.
So don’t walk your butt off and expect to solve your weight problem.
Exercise doesn’t reduce fat
For example, lifting weights with your legs will strengthen the specific leg muscles you are using, but they will not reduce pockets of fat around or near those muscles.
So don’t try to be an Olympic athlete in the gym and expect to turn your fat thighs into slim thighs, because it won’t happen!
What sort of exercise do I recommend?
It depends on your condition.
- If you are very unfit or very overweight (70 pounds+)
Please talk to your doctor before starting.
If it’s okay with her, I suggest you start with something very gentle but do it regularly:
i.e. at least 10 minutes a day.
Take a gentle walk, or do a few gentle exercises at home.
As you get used to moving around, gradually build up to about 20 minutes a day.
Note: If you are following the diet properly, your weight loss should be obvious, no matter what exercise you do.
- If you are less unfit and less overweight (40-70 pounds)
You may also want to talk to your doctor before starting.
If you feel up to it, I recommend a daily 15 minute walk.
As you get used to it, gradually extend it to 30 minutes a day.
Just remember: there’s no hurry, so take it easy and don’t strain yourself.
Exercise benefits us most when we make it a regular part of our lives.
Note: If you are following the diet properly, your weight loss should be fairly consistent, no matter what exercise you do. But exercise will definitely help your general motivation to diet.
- If you are fairly mobile and 10-40 pounds overweight
If you feel up to it, I recommend a minimum of 20 minutes exercise, a day.
As you get used to this, gradually extend it to 30-35 minutes, a day.
Start by taking a daily 20 minute walk. (20-25 minutes per mile)
After 2-3 weeks, increase the time of your walk to 30-35 minutes.
After 2-3 weeks, start swinging your arms as you walk.
After 2-3 weeks, increase your speed. (15 minutes per mile).
Note: Swimming or light aerobics are excellent alternatives.
It’s no good rushing out and exercising like mad for two weeks.
This approach is nearly always a recipe for disaster.
Either you will strain yourself or you will get fed up.
Instead, take it easy and make it part of your daily routine.
- If you are mobile and 10 pounds or less overweight
I recommend 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, a day.
Exercise your whole body, not simply your lower half.
As you get used to it, gradually extend this to 30 minutes a day.
Aerobic exercise is any extended activity that makes you breathe hard while using the large muscle groups at a regular, even pace. Aerobic activities help make your heart stronger and more efficient.
They also use more calories than other activities. Some examples of aerobic activities include:
– General aerobics (class)
– Brisk walking
– Aerobic dancing
– Racket sports
– Ice or roller skating
– Using aerobic equipment (i.e., treadmill, stationary bike)
The main point of aerobic exercise is to raise your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories), not to become super-fit.