Obesity is now called an epidemic in the healthcare community. In fact, it will soon be the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, even before smoking. Obesity leads to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke and even a higher risk of cancer. With all these health risks, as well as the general improvement in possible health status, weight loss is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
No matter what we would like to believe, it is not just a magical solution to lose weight. The body will produce more fat when it needs more calories to function on the demands you put on a given day than the number of calories you feed. It's that simple. Therefore, in order to lose weight, you need to reduce the number of calories you eat and increase the amount you burn.
There are a variety of options to choose from when looking for a weight loss program. They all spend a lot of time explaining what they eat, in prices and at what times or in any combinations. But a few of them emphasize the importance of exercise - not just weight loss, but your overall health and well-being. Exercise is important when trying to lose weight for a number of reasons:
First, as you start eating less, your metabolism will slow down. Exercise helps to elevate your body to a more efficient level. Second, as mentioned, exercise burns extra calories to lose weight faster and keeps you motivated in your efforts. Third, exercise actually releases endorphins, chemicals that keep your mood high.
Exercising does not mean spending hours in the gym or working out on a tiring schedule. In fact, in order to be able to stick to it over time, exercise should be your favorite activity. Start by increasing your workload throughout the process. Take the stairs if you can. Park away from the entrance to the mall when you go shopping. Go for a walk in the park or a favorite place and bring a dog or a friend and company. Take dance lessons or martial arts.
When you work out more often, you will find it easier and more natural to get into regular exercise. All you need to do is give them an outlet and the support they need to keep going. You need to raise your heart rate to a fat burner and keep it there for at least 20 minutes, 3 or more times a week. However, if you do not want to go to the gym, there are other options. Videos and DVDs are now available for all types of exercise. That way you can change your habit whenever you like so that you don't get frustrated with what you do. Try a variety of aerobics, kickboxing, yoga, or almost any other activity you want in the comfort of your own home.
If you have physical limitations that could prevent you from exercising, you can still find a way to increase your level of activity. Water aerobics is a great option for those who have joint problems or limited mobility because it releases the stress on your body provided by your weight. But you still find resistance to challenge your muscles in the water. There are also classes and videos available that allow you to exercise while sitting.
Whatever type of exercise you choose, it is important that you stay motivated and keep it fun. Try to get the group together to make it a fun event. Or get a pedometer, a device that tracks your distance, and see how many miles you can walk each week. Compete with your friends or family members and treat the winner with something special (not food related!). Make the exercise experience something you look forward to, and it will soon become a regular part of your healthy lifestyle.