When many of us start a diet, we tend to think in quick fixes. Sometimes, doing a juice cleanse over a period of a few days helps us shed those 5 pounds, and other times adopting a new eating regimen, like the Paleo Diet, sounds more promising.
What many of us tend to forget after the first few pounds are shed and we’re feeling pretty good – is that that diet alone won’t provide the long-term weight loss results we’re after. The weight comes back on, and then we take on another diet.
Yes, adopting new eating habits is a great and healthy move, but it’s also good to adopt an exercise routine to go with your diet – that will help your weight loss stick.
An overall healthy lifestyle includes a lot of movement. Recent studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time is as bad for our health as smoking! So instead of reducing your calorie intake alone, try adding a few more walk breaks at work, or a morning exercise routine to start your day.
I’ve found the key to maintaining any exercise routine is to find something that you actually want to do on a regular basis. I’m not a gym person – I hate lifting weights and running on a treadmill. But I do love being outside. I have adopted a running routine four days a week, and incorporate a lot of stretches and yoga on my “days off.” But if you’re like me and that gym membership is going to go unused after the first couple of weeks, now’s a good time to start thinking about what you would rather do instead.
There are plenty of things to choose from, no matter the climate. Have you wanted to try Zumba, or take Salsa dancing classes? Pilates? Or how about indoor rock climbing or volleyball? Even a half hour walk around the neighborhood five days a week is better than not moving at all. If you like animals, think about getting a dog to help you get out the door!
Think outside of the normal exercise box and figure out what gets you excited, or what you’d like to learn. If you have a goal, it makes things that much easier. Plus, when you have a consistent exercise regimen, you do notice results. You’ll have more energy, stronger muscles, and as a side benefit – it will also help increase endorphins, which lifts your overall mood (and increases your motivation to move).
If you want to start a running routine, join a running group in your area. There are plenty of resources online, and groups let you know about different races to help motivate you to train, whether it’s a 5K, 10K or even a marathon. You don’t have to run 26 miles, but training for a smaller race, like a 5K, can help you get into a healthy routine.
It doesn’t matter what you do, but making exercise a part of your life means better long-term results.