When people learn that I've lost weight they always ask how I did it. My answer is always the same - diet and consistent exercise, plus a change in my mindset. The mindset change is probably the most important factor in weight loss but I will devote another blog post to that issue. Right now I want to focus on exercise. So many people think that in order to exercise consistently you have to belong to a gym. That is simply not true and I want to give you five tips to help you with exercise without utilizing a gym.
1. Pedometer - So many people say that they don't have time to exercise. I know you have time, you can make time but if you are adamant about NOT having time, strap on a pedometer. You can buy one fairly cheaply and wear it for a week. See how much walking you are doing on a daily basis. Even if you feel like you can't make time to exercise you can get up and move your body more. You can take the stairs at work, you can park further away from stores. Every little bit helps. After monitoring your average for a week, set goals for yourself and work up to 10,000 steps a day. You can do this - and yes, chasing your kids around the house counts!
2. Exercise TV- If you are anything like me you have tons of exercise DVDs in your home that were used a few times, maybe even for a couple of months and now probably have so much dust on them that if you blow it a sneezing fest will ensue. Well, I've found a cure for the DVD graveyard. Exercise TV! If you are a cable subscriber you have the Exercise TV channel or something similar on your television. It is best if you have it On Demand because every month new workouts are added. I don't think you can ever get bored! If you don't have it On Demand, record your favorite shows and workout at your leisure. There is no excuse not to workout if you have Exercise TV!
3. EA SPORTS Active - I am big fan of both Personal Trainer and More Workouts. These "games" are the closest thing to having a personal trainer in your home without the high cost associated with one. Personal trainer has the 30 day workout and More Workouts has a 6 week workout. I've done both and prefer More Workouts because it has warm-up, cool down and ab exercises. If you own a Wii, I highly recommend EA SPORTS Active. I lost my first 20 lbs using More Workouts exclusively and it really started me on my journey to fitness. (and by the way, I am not just saying this because I was featured in the commercial. My results speak for themselves and like any other fitness activity - if you are not consistent you won't see results).
4. Run/Walk - Aside from the cost of a new pair of sneakers, this is a free exercise. You can run/walk around your neighborhood. Although the days are warming up now, I am not a fan of walking in my neighborhood. It is really hilly and there is not enough variety in the terrain. Instead of walking in my area, I have started mall walking. I will take my son in a stroller and walk around the mall. The only caveat to mall walking is be sure to keep your money in your wallet! Even if I go to the mall to shop, I take an extra lap or two around the mall to get exercise in. I'd love it if I had a pair of earth foot wear Exerwalks or a similar type of shoe that firms up your legs and burns extra calories but for now I am stuck with wearing my shoes or a pair of regular sneakers.
5. Rest - I am sure you are thinking "rest? Isn't this supposed to be about being motivated to exercise?" and the answer is yes. I want you to exercise but I also want you to rest. Give your body time to recover from workout sessions don't overdo it. If you workout too much and injure yourself, it is going to be difficult to get back in the saddle again. Muscle soreness is to be expected but when you can't move without saying "ouch" you've done too much. I personally had to step back this week from exercise. I felt a little guilty about it but my feet were hurting - my left bunion was screaming and I wanted to push through it but why? This is a new week, I exercise consistently and it is important that I listen to the clues my body gives me. In this instance my body told me to rest. I hope that you listen to your body too. Rest is an important part of all exercise regimes.
These are my tips for exercise, do you have any that you'd like to add? Please let me know in the comments!