Successful Weight Loss Habit No. 1: Exercise

Successful Weight Loss Habit No. 1: Exercise

By , Guide
It's surely no surprise to learn that exercise is a crucial component for our NWCR members. Men reported burning an average of 3,293 calories a week while women burned about 2,545 calories per week. This comes out to about an hour of moderate-intensity activity each day, which would fall at a Level 5 on this Perceived Exertion Scale. The most popular form of exercise is walking but many also lift weights, ride bikes and/or do some form of aerobics as well. This level of exercise is actually more than what is typically recommended for weight loss. What we can learn from this is that, first, it takes more exercise to maintain weight loss than we might think. But, that doesn't mean you have to overhaul your life overnight in order to make exercise a reality.
Creating Your Exercise Habit
Before you panic about trying to get an hour of exercise every day, it's important to realize that our NWCR members probably didn't start out with that much activity. It takes time to condition your body, learn the activities you enjoy and figure out what fits into your lifestyle. Giving yourself permission to take that time and experiment with different activities, schedules and frequencies will allow you to find what will work for you in the long-term, not just a few days or weeks.
A basic exercise routine should include cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises to help you burn calories, build muscle and keep your connective tissue flexible.
Setting Up your Own Program
  • Getting Started with Cardio. This step-by-step approach teaches you how to ease into a basic cardio program.
  • Getting Started with Strength Training. If you're lost when it comes to lifting weights, this article takes you through each phase of a strength program.
  • Flexibility Training. This article gives you the basics about how and when to stretch as well as tips for getting the most out of your flexibility routine.
  • Setting up a Complete Program. Putting it all together is often the most confusing part of exercise. This article offers a variety of workout schedules to give you an idea of what a typical week of exercise looks like.

Tips and Tricks
If you get confused about where to start, just remember: Doing something is always better than nothing so, when all else fails, go for a walk. And, remember, you can set up your program anyway you like. A few things you can do include:
  • Splitting your routine. Split your workouts throughout the day and you'll still get the weight loss and health benefits.
  • Varying your intensity. If you work harder, you can often shorten your workouts, so having workouts of varying intensities can give you more leeway in your exercise schedule.
  • You can incorporate other activity. Structured exercise is important, but general activity can also make a big difference in burning calories.
  • You can take your time. Permanent weight loss is a slow process and so is changing bad habits. Give yourself time to figure out how to make these changes and then give your body the time it needs to lose the weight.

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