Here it is again, that time of year when many of us resolve to start exercising. Most people start with good intentions, but give up by February.
Woman’s Center for Wellness has some answers to questions that are common this time of year.
Q: What’s the best way to start if my goal is to lose weight?
A: This is a tough one because it takes two things most of us struggle with O patience and perseverance. Lower your expectations to quickly lose weight. Instead, focus on being physically active throughout the day in addition to exercising. Exercising for an hour per day won’t have much impact on a body that sits for the other 10 hours. Move. If you are new to exercise, pick something that you can do continuously for 20-30 minutes. For example, if you are 40 lb. overweight, scratch running off your list. There is no reason to stress your joints at a time when you need to do sustained exercise. Try walking or riding a stationary bike initially. Add time over intensity until you reach 45 minutes of continuous exercise, then mix up the type of exercise and/or the intensity. The good news is you will lose weight; the bad news is it takes weeks for your body to respond and months for there to be a significant change. Just be patient.
Q: What if my goal is to shape up?
A: This usually means you want to lose inches. Other than wearing Spanx, this will require strength training, which comes in many forms O body weight exercises, freeweights, resistance machines, even household items, such as soup cans. Basically you need to lift, push or pull a weight that fatigues any muscle (or muscles) for 12O15 repetitions. Strength training has many benefits; including improved appearance and an increase rate your body burns calories.
Q: How do I stay motivated?
A: First, understand that you will not stick to something you do not enjoy. Here are some tips to help you enjoy exercise:
- You can’t avoid sweating, but if youjust hate to sweat, then try swimming or exercising indoors.
- It’s normal to be sore after exercising, but you should never be in pain. If you are too sore to move the next day, why would you continue?
- Be sure you have the proper attire to make you more comfortable and to prevent injuries.
- Promise yourself a reward for reaching a goal. It could be a new outfit, a massage etc.
- Find a partner. It’s easier to make yourself exercise when you have a friend who shares your desire to get fit.