Exercise for Weight Control, Raised Metabolism & Healthy Weight Loss & Fitness
Exercise for Weight Control
- Exercise is very useful for minimizing the ‘plateau’ effect of dieting, which occurs within a few weeks of starting a diet, as the body ‘adjusts’ to a lower calorie-intake.
- Exercise is vital to minimize the effects of menopause & osteoporosis (women) and middle-age spread (men).
If you want to start exercising, but don’t know what to do, here are some simple tips:
- Check your fitness level
- Make an exercise plan
- Find an exercise buddy
- Types of exercise to choose
Check your fitness level
It’s always wise to ask your doctor’s advice before starting any kind of exercise program. At the very least, have your pulse and blood pressure checked, and get your doctor’s approval for the sort of program you have in mind.
Make an exercise plan
Don’t just jump out of bed one morning and jog your butt off.
- Sit down and make a realistic plan
- Use a diary to record the details
- Adopt a gradual approach
- e.g. Week 1, two sessions. Week 2, three sessions. And so on.
- Plan to review your progress after (e.g.) one month.
Find an exercise buddy
Exercising on your own requires huge self-discipline. Make it easier for yourself by finding a friend or neighbor to exercise with. Alternatively, or in addition, join an exercise class that is right for you. But don’t allow yourself to be pushed into something that is too strenuous.
Types of exercise to choose
Walking is great. No expertise or equipment is required, you can do it anytime and it’s free! What’s more, provided you do it regularly and for long enough, walking can be just as beneficial as any of the more vigorous activities (like jogging etc).
How to start
Take a 10 minutes walk, twice a day.
Gradually extend yourself
- Walk every day
- Walk longer
- Walk faster
- Walk and swing your arms at the same time
- Walk up one or two gentle slopes
- Walk up steeper slopes
Aim to walk briskly (swinging your arms) for 30 minutes, each day. This should include at least one reasonably steep slope. Please note: This may take you several months to achieve, so don’t be in a hurry. Remember, exercise is for LIFE!
For most people, especially those who are very overweight, swimming is even better than walking.
How to start and then extend yourself
Similar to walking, start by going to the pool twice a week for a gentle 15 minute swim. Gradually increase the length of your swim, and your work rate while in the water. Aim to build up to about 30 minutes a day, or 45 minutes twice a week.
Cycling/cycle-machine, or Jogging
Your aim is the same as for walking or swimming. Start with a short easy routine – 10-15 minutes per day and gradually work up to about 30 minutes a day. Gradually increase your work rate, without ever straining yourself. If jogging, please invest in a good pair of running shoes that offer cushioned support.
Exercise or Aerobics classes
These classes can be great fun. Moreover, many fitness centers offer a variety of classes to suit a variety of fitness levels. Definitely worth checking out!
Exercise at home
If you can’t get out, or if the weather is bad, organize an indoor exercise routine for yourself.
An easy exercise & stretch plan
Head and neck circles
Stand up straight. Without moving your shoulders, slowly move your head and neck in a wide circle. Do this half a dozen times.
Stand up straight with legs apart and both arms stretched straight out in front of you, at chest level. Without moving your hips, swing your arms (parallel to the floor) as far to the left as you can – and then to the right. Do this 20 times.
Stand up straight with legs apart and arms at your sides. Without moving the rest of your body, circle your left arm backwards. Repeat this with your right arm. Do this half a dozen times.
Stand up straight. Place hands palms down on the front of your thighs. Keeping your legs straight, lean forwards and slowly slide your hands down your legs, as close to your ankles as possible without straining. Then move them back up your legs and finish by holding your arms straight up above your head. Repeat this half a dozen times.
Stand up straight, with legs apart and arms at your sides. Without moving your legs, slowly bend sideways to the left, allowing your left hand to slide down the side of your leg, as far as possible without straining. Slowly return to the start position and repeat on right hand side. Do this half a dozen times per side.
Stand up straight with your weight on your right leg. Place your right hand on a chair or table, for support. Swing your left leg forwards and backwards, in a pendulum motion. Do this 20 times, then repeat the exercise with your right leg.
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched straight out in front of you. Place your hands on the top of your thighs and slide them down your legs as far as possible without straining. Return to the start position and repeat 10 times. Keep the whole exercise as slow and as relaxed as possible.
Lie on your stomach with your legs straight and your arms by your sides. Slowly lift your left leg off the floor, as high as possible without straining. Do it slowly – do not jerk your leg upwards. Then slowly lower your leg. Repeat the exercise with your right leg. Do this half a dozen times, per leg.
Running on the spot
Stand up straight with arms relaxed. Run on the spot for 2 minutes. As you do so, try to keep the whole of your upper body as relaxed as possible. Allow your arms to bounce freely at your sides.
Dance to music
As an alternative to running on the spot, put on your favorite CD and get moving! But avoid jerky movements. Try to move easily without straining your muscles.
Never overdo exercise!
- Exercise shouldn’t be a temporary fad. It should be something you do for life.
- The secret is: A little and often!
- Use your common sense and avoid trying to do too much, too soon.