Author: Susan Willis
Apart from eating right and getting enough sleep, the one thing that researchers, doctors, and health experts agree upon that is a universal "must" for staying healthy is getting regular exercise. If you are overweight or at least want to shed a few extra pounds to improve your health or appearance, getting enough exercise is even more essential.
There are two main reasons why many people do not get enough exercise: 1. lack of motivation; 2. lack of time in their schedule. In my experience, if you can get over the first challenge, motivation, the schedule-related challenge will take care of itself. That is because, once you are properly motivated and start seeing the results you want, you will make the time to exercise.
So, to help get you started on a regular exercise plan, here are 5 exercise tips on losing weight:
1. Choose something fun
Some people lack motivation to exercise because the mere thought of exercise sounds boring, painful, or at least un-fun. I am here to say that this does not have to be the case. There are myriad ways to exercise the pounds off. Remember, the main constant in exercise is merely that of using one or more of your major muscle groups (usually your arms or your legs) for a period of at least 20 - 30 minutes to elevate your heart rate. That's it. So, even activities like playing and running around in the yard with your kids counts as viable exercise. So do playing your favorite sport, swimming, walking running - even playing table tennis or gardening. Start by taking the boredom factor out of the idea of exercise and you will start to see it as something desirable and fun, rather than as a chore.
2. Get a partner if you can
Getting an exercise partner is one of the great secrets to starting and maintaining a regular exercise routine. With people's busy schedules these days, it can be hard to find someone who will drop everything to go exercise with you whenever you have a moment free. The way to solve this is to find a regular time two or three days per week that your workout partner can join you. Another strategy is to enlist two or three partners to work out with you. That way, if someone does not show up on a given day, you will still have company. And remember, even if your partner cannot join you every time, just motivating each other through moral support can be enough to inspire you to keep going.
3. Surround yourself with supporters
Even beyond your workout partner, it is great to have supporters in your life. These are people who encourage you to keep at it, even when you do not feel like it. You can get people to support you without even asking them directly for support: just start sharing with them about your workouts, your progress, and your goals on a regular basis. After a while, they will start asking you about it as part of your conversations with them.
4. Always stretch first
This sounds obvious to the more seasoned athletes, but it is needs to be emphasized: always start your workouts with at least 5 to 10 minutes of stretching. Get yourself an inexpensive foam mat, or stretch on carpet in your home or gym. Stretching is a great warm-up, and it can prevent injuries down the road.
5. Start off a little at a time
Now that you are a bit more revved up about the idea of getting into a regular exercise routine for the purposes of losing weight, you may want to rush right out and start an intensive routine from Day One. I strongly caution you against this. By taking it slow at first and gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your workouts, you will increase your chances of sticking with your routine in the long run. And, you will decrease your chances of sustaining a workout-related injury.
Losing weight is a very worthwhile goal, and in addition to eating right, exercise is one of the best-acknowledged ways to get there. So, choose something fun, surround yourself with supporters, stretch before every workout, and start off a little at a time. You will find yourself in a satisfying, lasting routine in no time.
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