Weight loss is not magic. It will always come down to calories in (food) versus calories out (activity). The very best weight to jump start a healthy lifestyle that you can actually maintain is to begin making healthier food choices, and to get more exercise. However, many people change their diet without altering their level of activity.
Exercise does not have to mean hours spent at the gym. If you love working out and have a gym membership, terrific! If you don’t, you can try to find little ways to work more physical activity into your daily routine.
Here are some ideas to get you moving, ways to burn more calories today…
Jump-start your morning
Try stretching, doing yoga, working out with an exercise DVD, or even just doing some jumping jacks in the morning before you eat breakfast. It will help to jump start your metabolism and also wake you up and give you energy to start the day.
Take a walk
This one goes for any time of day. Take a brisk walk in the morning and enjoy the peace before a busy day. Go for a walk on your lunch break to reinvigorate yourself (great for beating the afternoon energy slump). Instead of plopping right down in front of the television, take a walk after dinner. If you have a dog, use this as your encouragement. Try walking the dog around the park, rather than just around the block.
Sneak in a desk workout
Try sitting on an exercise ball rather than your chair, it engages your core muscles and encourages good posture. Or, keep some lightweight dumbbells in a desk drawer for easy access. You can also search online for desk exercises (there are plenty).
Clean your house
Put on some great music and spend one hour house cleaning. Do the dishes, mop the floor, or scrub the bathtub. Vacuuming burns about 80 calories in 15 minutes. You will be active, with the added bonus of feeling like you accomplished something!
Take the stairs
Anytime you can, opt for the stairs. You can do this at the mall, in your office building, or in a parking garage.
Make commercials count
Why not take advantage of commercial breaks when you are parked in front of the television? Get up during each set of commercials and spend two minutes doing sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, or using dumbbells. Even better, try to do exercises for an entire ½ hour episode. You still get to be entertained, and can burn a lot of calories at the same time.
Find an activity that you love
This is key to sticking with it for the long term. Do you love biking? Do it more. Or try going to the park and playing tennis, basketball, Frisbee, or roller-skating. Get out and go for a hike. If you love swimming, find the nearest rec center and try out their pool. If you find activities that you love, you are much more likely to keep it up.