Are you trying to lose weight, or even maintain a successful weight loss after lifestyle changes, medication, and/or surgery? It is important to realize that the key to lasting weight management is developing lifelong healthy habits. In addition, it is also necessary to develop good coping strategies to deal with challenges that arise, be realistic with expectations, and be creative with ways to keep yourself motivated. In this blog, we will explore exercise strategies to promote successful weight loss and maintenance.
1. Don’t put exercise off, find strategies to stay focused and keep moving
Eating healthfully is just one part of the equation when it comes to losing weight. Having an active lifestyle also plays a big role. If you have a super busy life and don’t make specific time for exercise, it is easy to miss out. There are no excuses, you should include activity to maintain weight loss unless you are ill or have an injury that the doctor recommends you abstain from activity. Plan to fill your days with at least 30 minutes total of activity in a variety of ways.
- Don’t think about whether you should put off an activity, just get out there and do it!
- Stick to a schedule set specific times to exercise, get ready, and go for it. Do not give yourself the time to talk yourself out of exercising
- Think back to how great you feel after working out and use that as a positive motivator to get moving, also think about its positive effects on blood sugars and weight
- Look at your schedule and figure out time slots of when and where you can be active
- Multitask and make plans with family and friends that center around exercise to spend time together and stay fit- if it is safe to do and possibly consider walking or biking to work or to do your errands
- Sign up for a class near your office or home. Don’t give yourself even a minute to talk yourself out of exercise, put your workout clothes on, lace up your athletic shoes, and go do it
- Take a walk at lunch or have your family join you for one after dinner
- Meet up with your exercise buddy on a weekly basis to be social while you are active. Some people find a regular session with a certified personal trainer works well as a “buddy” that can also provide useful instruction if it is within your budget. Find different buddies to do a variety of activities with such as biking, tennis, walking, and so on!
- Take a new exercise or dance class or walk a new route with your latest favorite music playing in your headphones to break up the monotony of your exercise plan
- Many communities have exercise groups for running, biking (etc) so you can always research that as an additional great option too.
2. Keep up with activity even when traveling
It may be tempting to let your commitment to exercise slide if you go on vacation or a work trip but with a little extra effort and planning you can remain active even when away from home and out of your usual routine. Be sure to factor in activity during your vacation, don’t leave it out- remember consistency is key to controlling your weight.
- Try to stay at locations that have places to exercise like a gym or walking trail.
- If you are traveling by air, budget extra time to do a few minutes of extra walking in the airport and to your gate before your flight.
- Do you have a long drive ahead? Plan to stop a few times on the way to take a 10-minute walk after a bathroom break or meal.
- When arriving at your destination, take advantage of the hotel gym in the morning or before dinner. Another fun option is to be able to explore your new surroundings with a brisk walk.
3. Break up activities to keep them in your daily schedule
Don’t have a full 30-60 minute block in your day to work out? Try to add in 5-10 minutes of activity several times a day and the benefits will add up. There are many ways you can work in a little bit of activity every day without making huge demands on your schedule. And, putting activity into a busy day by doing just 5-10 minutes here and there will add up to help in controlling your weight,
- Find opportunities to walk by arriving at your destination early, parking further away, and then walking for ten minutes.
- Take the stairs whenever you can and do this several times during the day.
- Go for a ten-minute walk after lunch or dinner.
- Spend ten minutes at the beginning and end of each day doing a few resistance and stretching exercises.
- Use your daily chore list to get in more activity and keep a clean house while you are at it!