As many of you may know, exercise is an important part of a weight loss/ maintenance plan. Some of us have that awesome “I get euphoric off of sweating and have to do it daily” feeling, and I applaud and envy you. I need to figure out how to get the fire back in my fitness routine, because since hitting my goal, my fire feels really snuffed out. That being said, I still workout regularly because I understand its importance to my body ( and my mind).
There are many benefits to getting in a 30 minute sweat session.
- -Stress relief
- Mood booster
- PMS relief
- Wearing is good for the skin
- You get a sexy glow
- Sculpted body
- Curbed appetite
- Social time or “me” time
- Earning extra Points Plus Values (aka more food for you!)
And oh so many more.
Everyone has a different level of fitness, ranging from none to Marathoner and beyond, and whatever category you fall into, it’s okay! There is no need to feel like you have to get up and active from 0- 5k in a week. The point here is to get up and get moving somehow…any way you want.
Personally I try to get myself at least 30 minutes of cardio every day, and I usually succeed 5 or 6 days a week. Thankfully I have a nifty little activity tracker that I wear every second I’m out of bed (except when I’m in the shower) called the Active Link. This is the Weight Watchers version of a pedometer, but it is oh so much more than that. This baby not only tracks steps, but tracks motion in 3 ways (up and down, back and forth, and side to side) which is an awesome innovation in activity tracking. This means that it still actually counts for something when I am behind the counter at Kohls for 4 hours. It used to be that my feet rarely moved, and the pedometer on my body reflected that. Now, thanks to the 3 way motion of Active Link, the twisting and bending and movement I do near my register can get me close to halfway to my daily goal. I feel much more satisfied knowing my work actually counts.
The Active Link sets a daily goal for you as well. I will do a separate post on Active Link specifics later, but the gist is this: I have a goal, and when the little lights blink 100% I know I have earned 5 Points Plus that day. This turns every day into a game, and it is a game that I do not like to lose.
For me the Active Link is a great way to help me meet a daily activity goal, but that doesn’t mean everyone needs some little computer clipped to their body at all times. Generally, for weight loss you want to get a good sweat session in 4 or 5 days a week, and for maintenance and general fitness shoot for 3-4 days weekly. However, if you’re someone on the lower end of the spectrum, fitness success doesn’t have to start there. Go for an extra walk every day (or a walk, period, if you’re someone who is mostly sedentary). Take little steps to increase the amount of activity you do on any given day. Note how I say “activity” and not exercise (even though the title of the post is exercise ). If you get out and exercise great, but that word can intimidate many beginners. Here are a few ideas to incorporate more activity into your average day, even for a beginner.
- Start the day with some light yoga or stretches
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator
- Park near the end of a parking lot, rather than the nearest space to the door you can find
- Take the long route to the restroom at the office
- Spend part of your lunch break on a walk with a co-worker
- Get up and move 5 minutes every hour
- Take the laundry up stairs or to the other room in smaller loads..or if you’re really ambitious, piece by piece. I usually do this when putting laundry from my bed (where I fold and hang) to the right spot. Trust me, if you put your undies and socks away one by one, you get some movement.
- Same with the dishes: put them away one at a time
- Go for an after dinner walk with your significant other or kids
- Head to the mall for some window shopping, but do a lap around the whole place first before you let yourself look
You get the idea? There are SO many little things that can significantly increase the amount of activity you get in a day. Then, when you feel like you can move beyond the basics, head to the gym, sign up for a fitness class, get a workout DVD or turn that walk into a jog or run. It doesn’t matter how slow you start, at least you’re moving!
So, the bottom line of this back to basics post is to get moving my friends. I promise you that nothing bad will come from a little more activity in your day. So bust out some Jillian Michaels (my favorite trainer) or do whatever it is you’re going to do to give your weight loss journey that extra boost of awesome. And who knows, you just might end up one of those lucky people who get a high off of a quality sweat session. 🙂