Making healthy food choices is an important component to any weight loss program; however, it is regular physical activity that plays a role in lasting weight loss and maintenance. Regular physical activity is beneficial to those battling obesity as it improves cardiovascular health, promotes and advances preservation of weight loss, and reduces the risk of developing diabetes. Exercise will increase your energy giving you the ability to carry out more activities throughout the day. It’s time to get motivated, get moving, and get active if you want to see results that will make a long, lasting impression on your life. We aren’t talking about a quick fix either. We’re talking about a lifestyle change.

Exercise is imperative in the fight against obesity. Between raising a family, juggling a career, and spending time with the upkeep of a home, 24 hours in a day no longer seems like enough time to accomplish everything including working out. When you find yourself in this situation, make the most out of your daily activities. Everything you engage in acts as an opportunity to burn calories, which is the key to weight loss. For example, park the furthest distance away from the mall or store when running errands. Although it may seem like a minimal change and only a few extra steps, the extra foot work will add up, increasing the day’s total calories burned. Turn housework into exercise! Vacuuming, dusting, and general cleaning or cooking is a great way to burn extra calories. Use stairs instead of elevators and pace while on the phone. Take advantage of a beautiful day by going for a walk, gardening, or playing with children.

Always remember to make smart food choices at all times, especially when a vigorous workout does not fit into the day’s schedule. While a health club is a great place to work out with a variety of equipment, a great workout can be experienced in the comfort of your own home. Fewer barriers such as travel time, traffic, and overcrowding are a few of the benefits in which data shows that exercising at home can improve adherence to a physical activity routine.

Another tool to improve adherence is to rotate activities. It is easy to fall out of a program due to boredom; therefore, it is important to try a variety of exercise modalities. It is also easy to fall out of a program due to starting out too aggressively. Physical activity should be started at a low level for around 20 minutes per session and 3 sessions per week. Over time, activity can be steadily increased to 60 minutes per session and 6 sessions per week. To better commit yourself to a daily exercise routine, stick to a regular time everyday. It may also be beneficial to sign a contract with yourself and treat exercise as an appointment in your planner, as it will reinforce the importance of the activity just as an appointment at work would. Also, keep daily logs of your activities which make it easier to refer back to progress as weeks progress. Losing weight and getting healthy will benefit one in the short run but most importantly, the long run. Also, feeling good translates to looking good. Positive feelings will boost overall self- esteem and be a motivating factor to get healthy and remain that way. In the long run, however, staying at a healthy weight will decrease health risks and premature death. Most importantly, it is valuable to find an exercise regimen which is sustainable. This regimen varies for each individual; therefore, what works for one may not work for another. Julius Erving put it best when he said, “If you don’t do what’s best for your body, you’re the one who comes up on the short end.”

5 Easy Ways to Burn Calories

  • Park the furthest distance from the door
  • Use stairs instead of elevators
  • Pace while chatting on the phone
  • Do your own house cleaning
  • Take advantage of a beautiful day by walking outside, gardening, or playing with children