Actively Being Active during Weight Loss
“Activity is like loose change, it all adds up.”
The above quote highlights the wise words of Cedric Bryant, the chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, and he brings up a very good point. While you are focusing on medical weight loss, there are plenty of ways that you can increase your physical activity—and not all of them involve going to the gym or any other sort of traditional workout.
Being active is a big part of living a healthy lifestyle, but it goes far beyond working out every day. Being active is more of a mentality than a task on a to-do list. If you can transition your way of life from mostly sedentary to more active, then you will have a much easier time keeping your weight off long-term after medical weight loss.
Building an Active Mindset
Developing an active lifestyle has more to do with how you approach and think about your way of life than it does with planning times in which you can work out.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to try to add more activity to your lifestyle:
- How often are you sitting down? Take a step back and evaluate how much time you spend sitting versus standing. Sure, there are times when you don’t have much of a choice. You have to sit while you drive, you may spend all day at a desk job and you are going to need to sit down (or lay, rather) when you go to sleep. But what about the rest of the day? If you find yourself sitting on the couch after work or sitting in the office lounge, stand up. Spending more time standing and walking when you have the chance is one way to become more active.
- What do you do in your spare time? While you are talking on the phone or watching TV, are you sitting on the couch? Even just watching one hour of TV a day (and let’s be honest, most of us watch more than that!) can interfere with time you could be more active. You don’t need to toss the TV habit. Try combining the activities by cooking dinner while you have the TV on in the background, or standing or stretching while you watch your favorite show instead of sitting on the couch.
- What do you like to do? Not all forms of exercise feel like workouts. You can go for a long bike ride at a local trail, explore the farmers market or go dancing at a concert—any type of fun activity you can think of will work. Doing more fun and active things can really add up and help you improve your fitness every day.
If you are having trouble reaching your workout goals, then maybe it is time to stop thinking of activity as a chore and start thinking of all the fun things you can do while being more active.