Determined to Lose Weight? Learn How to Add Exercise for Better Results

No matter how determined you are to lose weight, watching what you eat is only half the battle. Getting active through regular exercise is the often neglected other half. Many health and wellness experts advise that regular exercise is a proven way to boost metabolism and burn more calories than diet alone. Even with a busy schedule, you can create an exercise routine that fits your lifestyle. Here’s how to do it.

Determine how much time you want to dedicate. The first step in creating a workable exercise routine is to figure out how much time you are willing to spend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. That’s only 30 minutes a day, five days out of seven. You can even break this time into shorter 10- or 15-minute sessions. This is not a huge commitment for most. If you can spare more, go for it.

Get past the excuses. Many people complain of not having the time to exercise. The best way to shatter this and other excuses is to put it in writing. This means creating a daily schedule of how you plan to spend your day and committing small blocks of time for exercise. For example, if you have a half hour lunch with two 15-minute breaks during the work day, you might schedule two to three 10 minute walking sessions throughout the day. Honestly evaluate how you spend your day and figure out where you can fit a few minutes of exercise. Following a documented schedule takes resolve, but will soon become habit.

Go for a balanced routine. A good exercise regime consists of aerobic and strengthening exercise. Dancing, walking, jogging, swimming are examples of aerobic exercise.  Strength exercise involves lifting weights and muscle resistance training. You can accomplish strengthening with sit-ups, push-ups and free weights. You don’t have to do both types of exercise daily.  Alternating is fine. Don’t forget to warm up and gently stretch before you exercise.

Choose what you enjoy. Okay, maybe the words “enjoy” and “exercise” doesn’t quite go together for many of you. The point is you are more likely to stick with an exercise schedule if you choose an activity you enjoy, or at the very least, dislike the least. If you like walking, dancing and swimming, chose among those for the aerobics portion of your exercise program. If you prefer free weights over sit-ups, use those for strengthening. Enjoying your workout will keep you on task and on schedule. Mix activities up to keep boredom at bay.  

Stay motivated by keeping track of your progress. Motivation keeps the momentum going. One way to stay motivated is to create a success log to track your progress. For instance, if you have committed to 30 minutes of exercise each day, write in your log the actual time spent. You can refer back to your achievements on days you don’t feel like exercising. You might find that you did more that you originally planned and feel compelled to do even better.

Exercise and a healthy diet go hand-in-hand for sustainable weight loss. Creating an exercise schedule that fits with your lifestyle, and doing activities you enjoy will help you avoid self-sabotaging excuses. But, before you get started with a diet or exercise program, be sure to check in with your doctor or health care provider.