If you count calories and cut out bad foods in your diet you will lose weight. Without exercise, it will take very long for you to see results. By adding in simple exercises to your daily routine you can assist your weight loss by achieving the results you want faster. When I decided I needed to lose weight, I took to the exercises I already knew how to do from playing soccer for several years. However, you don’t have to be a fitness guru to get moving, so what’s stopping you? Get up and move with these 8 simple tips on how you can get more exercise in your day:
- Go for a walk, if you’re more advanced, feel free to jog or run. It’s the easiest and most readily available means of exercise because it can be done any time of year, as long as you have comfortable clothes and a good pair of shoes for the activity you are doing. Go to a sporting goods store and ask an associate for their recommendations on what shoe to select if you’re unsure. Most are more than willing to help you find out which shoe will fit your needs. When you are just starting out, don’t do too much too soon. You will get injured or will feel incredibly sore the next day and this might discourage you from exercising again later in the week. Take it slow and steady when you are first starting out. Make sure to stretch after a short warm up period (5 minutes of walking) to reduce the risk of strain or injury. Go at a pace that feels comfortable to you, and stop if you feel overly tired or in pain.
- Make use of workout videos, DVDs, even old video cassette tapes. Yes, I am old enough to remember watching Richard Simmons in his Sweating to the Oldies tape with my mom. Technology has come a long way, so now you don’t have to remember where you put (hid) that glorious exercise tape. Go to YouTube, search a few exercises that you think will interest you. Tabata workouts? HIIT videos? Victoria’s Secret models workout? You get where I’m going with this. If you want to target your arms, search for “lean arms workout”. There are so many free resources you can utilize. In many cases all you will need is a set of dumbbells to begin these videos, and sometimes the videos require no equipment at all! If you’re interested in buying a series of videos like Beachbody’s p90x3 or Insanity, read reviews to see if the videos would be a good fit for you. I completed a round of Shaun T’s Insanity, a 60 day workout schedule that was very cardio intensive. Pick something that’ll suit your own needs!
- If you’re serious about building muscle and people in the gym don’t scare you–getting a gym membership is a great place to start. Many facilities have trainers on site and people who work at the desk are more than eager to help you set up an appointment with them for a consultation. The gym I go to, Retro Fitness, gives all new members a free consultation with a personal trainer to assess their level of fitness and health. Although I chose not to take the personal training sessions (I was a broke college student), having someone actually tell you your weight and body fat percentage was enough of a wake up call for me! I have been at my gym for 2 years and really enjoy that I can go to any branch of their gym. With a ton of locations in the tri-state area, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. Shop around for different clubs, often times many have deals and specials or good offers throughout the year.
- Take a class that sounds like fun to you! Working out doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it shouldn’t be a chore because then you will dread it and never be excited about doing something good for your health. Check your local gyms, sometimes classes will be offered to people who aren’t members. Don’t be afraid of being a newbie, everyone had to start somewhere once! I was so afraid to take a spin class because I had never done it before and didn’t want people to laugh at me. I made my boyfriend come with me…he was the only male in the class (00ps!). Enlist a friend to go with you, exercise can be a bonding experience if you’d like it to be.
- Schedule working out into your weekly planner. Sometimes life seems like it’s too jam-packed as it is. Adding an hour of exercise 3-4 times a week, plus however long it takes to get to the gym per day can really add up. Make sure you schedule your workout sessions into a planner or onto the calendar on your phone to remind you that working out is a commitment and not just a hobby. Once you become serious about exercise, exercise will seriously start changing your body!
- For exercise, the same goes as it did for eating well to improve your health. Take small steps and set yourself small and manageable goals so that you don’t get discouraged and want to quit. Don’t plan to run a half marathon by the end of the season if you haven’t gone running ever. Start small, and work your way up. There are plenty of sites and apps that can help you set a reasonable goal and work towards it. Couch to 5K is a popular program for beginners and it has a calendar of how often/how long each session should be. I really like workout programs that tell me what I should be doing on what day. It helps me stick to it, but also gives me the chance to rearrange a session on my calendar if I can’t complete that day’s exercise because of a prior commitment or illness.
- Download fitness apps on your phone. In a technology driven world, there’s no reason to not have one or two (or five!) on your phone. Anything that will make exercise more fun for you is worth trying. I like using MyFitnessPal, Runtastic Pro, MapMyRun, and FitnessBuddy. I use MFP mostly for the calorie counting aspect of it, but I do like that it syncs directly with Runtastic and logs those calories burned directly against the calories consumed. MMR is very similar, and I have used Fitness Buddy to help understand what exercise machines or weights work what muscle group. I also use Pandora during my walks/runs, and Dance Cardio Radio and Alternative Endurance Training Radio are two of my top stations for working out. Pick music that is upbeat and will make you want to move more.
- Exercise shouldn’t have to be a task. It should be something you look forward to! If you are excited about exercise, you’ll be less likely to skip out on your workouts. Are your workout shirts old tees and sweat shorts? Go out and treat yourself to a new workout outfit or two. You’ll be more inclined to work out if you have something you can look forward to wearing. You don’t like the gym or jogging? That’s alright, it isn’t for everyone. Think of something that interests you. You like to be outdoors? Go hiking and explore the nature around you. You prefer organized sports because it doesn’t actually feel like “work”? Join a sports team that interests you. Try new sports if you’re fairly athletic. Every once in awhile I’ll try to play tennis with my boyfriend because it makes me move in ways that the gym can’t. Get creative with how you can sneak exercise into your daily routine. Soon enough it will turn into a habit!
What’s your favorite way to exercise? Did I miss any beginner tips you thought would have been included? Let me know!