You know you should add exercise to your diet plan to help with the weight loss, but do you just hate the idea of exercising? A common misconception people have is that it is necessary to join a gym and push through intense workouts to the point of exhaustion. It’s like they feel that they deserve punishment for having gotten out of shape. So, for a month or two, people head out to the gym, or the trails and push themselves until they are miserable.
Has this happened to you? The new fitness regimen is so intense that it becomes unbearable and then the excuses begin. You find yourself hating it, so it gets put off until tomorrow, and then the next day, until you eventually find your new training shoes in the closet with a layer of cobwebs on them.
Don’t Push So Hard
If you are 50 years old and 300 pounds, it’s not realistic, and certainly not enjoyable, to join a cross-fit class. It won’t be comfortable and will likely be quite dangerous for your knees. And expensive! Try out a couple different, less intense activities, like shooting hoops or playing tennis like you did when you were younger. You have much better chances of losing weight if you don’t pick something that makes you overly uncomfortable. Tai Chi and Chair Yoga are another couple of easier, low intensity exercises that you might like.
If you are overweight, the best choices are walking and swimming. Both activities also happen to be the most affordable. Walking is the simplest and most natural activity available. Simply walk at a pace that brings a light perspiration to your skin and increases your breathing and heart rates. Don’t make yourself uncomfortable or you won’t want to do it regularly. Start by walking for a few minutes and then walk a little longer whenever you can. If you are the 50 year old 300 pound guy, you might only be able to walk to the end of the driveway and back at first, and that’s ok. Do what you can. The ultimate goal is 30 minutes to 1 hour of walking per day. Track your walking with a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps per day.
There are plenty of recommendations from experts on how many times to exercise per week, 4 or 5 times is generally suggested. But what about picking an exercise that you enjoy so much that you don’t want to take a day off? Regular walkers often say they don’t want a day off, they crave it and feel uncomfortable and stressed if they don’t get their daily walk. Wouldn’t it be nice to yearn for exercise?
Swimming is great for weight loss if you are starting out. Psychiatrists have come out to say that water aerobics classes seem to be the most mood-boosting exercise that their patients report. It is also the easiest exercise on the joints, which is very important! The fact of the matter is that fat tissue floats. While you are in the water, you will feel so much lighter and be able to move your limbs so much easier. It’s a wonderful thing to feel after lugging around all that extra weight all day. It can also be very motivating, making you want to keep at it so that light-weight feeling can be felt on land, too.
But Exercise Makes Me Hungry!
Another reason to cool it with the workouts is that vigorous exercise can make you ravenous. You could have an amazing sweat session at the gym and come home so hungry that you’ll gobble down anything in your cupboards. Remember that an hour-long work out will typically burn around 500 to 600 calories. It is easy consume 600 calories of ice cream within 10 minutes of arriving home and all progress has gone out the window.
People often report gaining weight after taking up extremely intense exercise. The old saying goes that you can’t outrun a bad diet. Also, experts are realizing that losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise. For the best results focus on eating healthy to lose weight, then add in some exercise that you truly enjoy for the health benefits and the toning.