Most Americans want to lose weight. Obesity has grown to epidemic proportions in the United States. Nearly one in 20 American adults is classified as “extremely obese,” two in three are either viewed as being overweight or obese. The problem extends to children and adolescents. Approximately one in six people between six and 19 years old is obese. So, if weight loss is something that interests you, you have lots of company.
Exercise is often viewed as a great way to approach weight loss. Most Americans do not get enough exercise. Less than 5% of us work out for at least 30 minutes a day as recommended. This is a global problem and inactivity is a leading cause of death. There are ways to ease into a work out regimen.
Tips for getting (back) into shape.
- Start slow. It is far too easy for many people to start a work out plan and the over do it. This is a great way to injure yourself and derail your weight loss plan on the first day. Even if you do not injure yourself, overdoing it will probably leave you sore and it is far too easy to excuse missing your work out one day. Then one day leads to two and then three and before you know it you are back at stage one. Start off slow and build up to more intense work outs.
- Work it into your daily routine. You do not have to workout for hours a day. Weight loss experts recommend 20 to 30 minutes of cardio every day. If you cannot get to the gym, take a walk. Make getting some exercise a part of your daily routine and you will start to enjoy it. Take the stairs to your office. Take the dog for a walk. Get up at lunch and leave your office for a bit to get outside. All of these are ways you can get some exercise into your life. Every calorie you burn can help with weight loss.
- Stick with it for at least 90 days. If you do something for three months, it becomes a habit. Habits are hard to break. Make a workout plan and stick with it for at least 90 days and you may find it as hard to quit as it was to start. This can also be a good goal to start with. The idea of doing something every day for the rest of your life may be too daunting a prospect to even start but 90 days may not seen so bad.
- Find activities you like. Do you like to play any sports? Do you like to ride a bike? How about watch TV? If you enjoy any activities that raise your heart rate, that is exercise even if it does not feel like it. Get out and do things you like to do. Take your kids skating or pick up a game of tennis or basketball. You can help your weight loss goals and have a great time. If you like watching TV, get a treadmill or stationary bike. Use them while you watch. If you cannot afford a machine, watch it at the gym. It will make the time go by faster.
Before you get started on any weight loss programs or exercise routines, you should consult a doctor and make sure you are not doing more harm than good. They may also recommend good physician supervised weight loss programs or weight loss centers. If you are really in need of serious weight loss, they may be the best places for you to get to your goal.
For most people, getting active is all that is needed to start losing weight. The benefits of starting and sticking with an exercise program go well beyond weight loss. Being in better shape brings a host of physical benefits from lowered risks of heart disease and diabetes to less back and joint pain. Even losing a few pounds makes a big difference in how much pressure you place on your knees.
Looking better is one benefit of weight loss and exercise but feeling better is a side effect that everyone can appreciate.