Is your goal to lose weight? Whether you goal is 5 pounds or 95 pounds, you need to add exercise to your daily routine.  The way to reach your weight goal is to attend to you fitness level. Oh, I can hear the groans. The truth is, we are simply not active enough.

 The fact is weight is based on calories in verses calories out. If you are gaining weight, you are eating more calories than you are expending. If you are losing weight, you are expending more calories than you are eating. It is difficult to lose weight by diet alone. It is a little complicated, but let me explain. Your body is used to a certain amount of food to maintain the current weight. When you cut back on calories, the body thinks you are starving and goes into a conservation mode. Your weight loss plateaus, you get frustrated and quit.

 Don’t quit, add exercise. Regular exercise helps you lose weight and maintain a desired weight. It strengthens and tones your body. It help with agility and balance, which will minimize your fall risk. As we get older, falling and breaking bones becomes a more serious risk problem. Having good balance and the ability to be agile will serve you well. Exercise helps your immune system to fight infections. Exercise lowers your risk of chronic diseases like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and diabetes. Regular exercise reduces stress and helps you to think clearly. And, you feel energized.

 Here are some point to remember when you exercise: get a buddy, be consistent, listen to your body.

Get an exercise buddy. It ia always eaiser to get to the gym when you have a friend waiting for you. There are too many excuses that can get in the way. Work, family, household chores, TV, talking on the phone. Get a girl friend to help you. Go to the gym together. You can meet at the local walking trail for lunch. You both will have a much better chance of success.

You have to be consistent. Set a goal you can live with. If you are not currently exercising, don’t set a goal of 90 minutes of exercise 7 days a week. That is a set up to fail. Set reasonable goals. You can start at 20 minutes 3 times a week. Do that every week. After 3 or 4 weeks, increase your time or the number of days you exercise. You will want to work up to 60 minutes 3-4 days a week. Keep on, keeping on and you will reach your goal, what ever it is.

 Listen to your body. If you have not been doing exercise, check with your doctor or health care professional before  you start your program.  If it hurts slow down, and modify your plan. Getting a trainer can help you start your program at your level an adjust it accordingly as you become fit. If you experience chest pain or shortness of breath see your doctor.

 Start with something simple and doable like walking. Can you walk 10 minutes away from your house of office? (That means you have to walk the 10 minutes back). Can you do this 3 times a week? If you can’t walk for 20 minutes, can you do 15 minutes? Can’t walk? How about swimming? Many pools offer classes for water exercise that are very good.
 Once you get into your routine, you will want to find ways to increase your exercise and intensity. It is a great idea to add strength and weight training to you routine. Strength and weight training build muscles. Muscles burn more calories as well as adding tone to you body. As you get comfortable with weight training, increase the weight and/or repetition. You can alternate your cardio exercise days with your weight training days.

 Stick with exercise. It is you insurance card for feeling great, being fit, attaining and maintaining your healthy weight.

 Along with exercise, a healthy diet is key for weight control. Do you know what goes into a healthy diet? Do you have a plan for reaching your weight loss goal? I invite you to click here for a special report on weight loss tips, portions and a health profile you can do at home and take to your doctor.

How do you get health? One healthy choice at a time.


Mary Pat

Mary Pat FitzGibbons RN MS