Not everyone can wake up energized, craving a run at 6 AM. I envy those who just don’t feel right until they work out, and work out hard, every day. In fact, many of the folks I’ve interviewed about their weight loss success don’t care for exercise at all. But, the thing is that exercise is a necessary part of weight maintenance, and without it, your weight will surely creep up over time. Studies show that you’re unlikely to lose weight with exercise alone, and that incorporating a low calorie diet in your lifestyle modification plan will bring you better results. Once you’ve lost some weight, however, exercise becomes the key to long term success. The data shows that if you want to avoid regaining the weight you’ve lost, you’re going to have to keep moving for the rest of your life!
You might be surprised to find out that you have a lot of options when it comes to burning calories. Non-exercise physical activity is a crucial part of weight management. If you do enough of it, you won’t have to kill yourself with vigorous intensity exercise to maintain your weight. Little bursts of activity actually add up to make a tremendous difference in the number of calories you burn in a day. What am I talking about? Taking the stairs, rather than the elevator. Riding your bike to the post office instead of driving. Raking the leaves that fall in the autumn, rather than hiring someone to do it for you. Moving more throughout your day is paramount to weight maintenance. Think about it. If you sit at a desk all day long, but get up and run for 30 minutes after work, you’ll probably reach the recommended weekly 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. But is it enough? I suggest you do more. You need to move throughout your day, in addition to your formal exercise program. Adding moderate intensity exercise (brisk walking, biking…) daily will take it up a notch in terms of your fitness, health and weight management, but don’t think you can spend the rest of the time slouching on the couch, watching TV.
The National Weight Control Registry is brimming with useful information for those trying to lose or maintain their weight. The average person in the registry lost 66 pounds and kept it off for an average of 5.5 years. You might think these super heros of weight loss all became vegan marathon runners. Not so! The most common form of exercise is walking, something most of us can do. 94% of Registry members increased their exercise to lose and maintain their weight. 90% of these folks exercise an hour each day. What about you? Can you find an hour a day to take a brisk walk? If time is your challenge, what about a 30 minute jog? Start by walking 5 minutes, jogging for 5 minutes and build up gradually. What about multi-tasking with a treadmill desk? However you fit it in, move more each day and you’ll gain control of your weight. You can do it!
Thanks for listening and I wish you the best of health.
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