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When Trying to Lose Weight, Don’t Forget to Exercise

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            A startling statistic has been circulating over the Internet.  This stat claims that half of all those who want to lose weight don’t exercise.  While this might seem mind-boggling at first, it is not entirely surprising, when you stop to consider what American culture has become.

             In the early days of the republic, the majority of Americans did hard labor on farms.  They were used to exercise during their normal workday, so they ate large meals in order to give them the energy they needed to complete their tasks.  There weren’t any Oprah Winfreys around back then to question their eating habits.

            In the 19th century, Americans began moving into cities to take factory jobs.  Again, they spent much of their time on their feet.  Many walked to work and to school, so exercise was a part of their normal routine.  They didn’t have to worry about doing Pilates or strength training, since ordinary life afforded many opportunities to exercise.

           Fast-forward to today.  Many people have sedentary jobs, working on computers, working at desks, working at cash registers.  They have little opportunity during their work days to move, let alone get up and stretch.  At home, they may spend much of their time sacked out in front of a television set, or on their home computer. 

            However, studies have proven that the best weight loss plan combines sensible diet with exercise.  Certainly, you can reduce your calorie intake.  But it is also important to boost your metabolism, and that is best done through an exercise routine.  Since you must burn a phenomenal amount of calories in order to lose pounds, exercise is crucial to long-term weight loss success.

             But what if you don’t enjoy exercise?  How can you possibly start an exercise program?

              In short, you need motivation.  This can come from a variety of sources.  For instance, you might want to play your favorite up-tempo music during your exercise drills.  This can provide the incentive you need in order to get moving.  Another motivator can be to exercise with your children in tow.  This could mean doing jumping jacks with your kids, or jogging while you push a stroller.  You might also consider joining a “Mommy and Me” exercise class.  Another winning strategy is to employ the services of an exercise buddy.  This can be your mate, a friend, or even your mother.  You can encourage each other, helping each other to overcome various hurdles to regular exercise.

            Another strategy is to base your exercise program on something you really enjoy.  Even those of us who are not athletic usually have some physical activity that we look forward to, whether it’s volleyball or tennis, bowling or swing dancing.  The type of activity isn’t as important as the fact that you are engaging in it regularly.

             If at all possible, you should add strength training to your exercise regimen.  Lifting weights can boost your metabolism, causing you to burn calories while also adding muscle to your frame.  Strength training can also help you to guard against osteoporosis and other health problems.

             You might also consider hiring a personal trainer.  He or she can act as your coach, urging you on when you feel like quitting.  A trainer can provide you with the inspiration necessary to achieve your weight goals.  It has also been shown that those who employ a trainer reach their optimum weight faster than those who do not.

             You should also prioritize exercise.  You should mark it in your daily planner and stick to a regular exercise schedule.  The important thing is to make exercise a regular part of your life.  It should not be limited to special occasions, or those times when you are in the mood.  It needs to be as regular as breathing.

              In order to be a healthy person, you simply need exercise.  And exercise is also beneficial to your mind as you begin your weight loss program.  It can clear your head and help you to work out your frustrations.  In short, it can give you a sense of accomplishment that will put you in the right frame of mind when trying to shed weight.

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