Sometimes in life things really are simpler than they seem. Exercise and weight loss might be one of those things. You don’t need the hottest diet on the market or even a degree in exercise science to figure it all out. If you want to establish a new exercise routine and lose those last 10 pounds, consider these simple steps…
1. Realize there’s one formula for weight loss… calories in vs. calories out! The quality of foods you eat and where your calories come from is important when it comes to body composition, energy level, and overall health and wellness, but ultimately when it comes to weight loss it boils down to one thing. You need to burn more calories than you consume.
2. Accept that there is no quick fix! You’ve heard this one time and time again, and sometimes you might wish it weren’t true. There’s no gadget, tool, machine, ball, or otherwise that can give you the body of your dreams without a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance on your part. The good news… I’ve never met a person who couldn’t do it once they set their mind to it.
3. Find activities that you enjoy. Just because your best friend claims to have lost 10 pounds taking her favorite indoor cycling class doesn’t mean it’s the answer for you. If you try the class several times and it doesn’t make your heart sing, move on. Investing time and energy into activities that you don’t enjoy is a surefire recipe for disaster. It won’t be long before doing laundry and picking the lint out of the dryer will seem like a better alternative. Find something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning.
4. Be realistic and don’t overdo it. If you’ve never exercised in your life, or you haven’t exercised for an extended period of time, be realistic about the amount of time you are willing to invest in this new endeavor. Start gradually and work your way up. Diving into something head first is never a good idea, but diving into exercise too quickly can be downright dangerous. Sore muscles aside, you could risk burnout and possible injury.
5. Establish a routine…ASAP! Routines are good. They’re predictable, they give us a sense of control over our lives, and they allow us to manage our time more efficiently. Write out your exercise routine, post it on the fridge, and share it with family and friends. Make sure everyone knows that your exercise time is not something you’re willing to compromise. Encourage them to keep you accountable. Kids love doing this! You get to ask them if they did their homework, they get to ask you if you did your exercise.
In the end, it would be great if the pounds would melt off as easy as a chocolate bar melts in your mouth. But exercise and weight loss are like any skill or talent you have cultivated. You have to work hard and stay committed to experience success. That, and a positive, realistic approach, can be the perfect recipe for long-term health and happiness.