While you may be losing weight by simply eating less or cutting back on drinks like coffee, soda, and tea, you need to start an exercise regimen. Even if the reason you’re not exercising to begin with includes a lack of time, you should know that exercise not only helps you lose weight, but has a positive impact on every aspect of your life.
The ease of movement, good coordination, strong muscles, improved posture, stable joints, emotional stability and the ability to have a better night sleep are all attributed to exercise. In addition, exercise helps reduce the risk for several serious diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and hypertension, osteoporosis, and breast/colon cancers.
Tracking your exercise regimen
You should keep a fitness journal of your performance and track the progress of your physical ability. Make sure to record the kind of exercise you’re doing (jogging, strength training, etc), duration, repetitions (if lifting weights), and intensity. By keeping a journal, you will be able to track what level of intensity and duration you were at last week, ensuring that you won’t go backward in intensity, or forward too quickly.
A weigh-in once a week should be performed to track your weight. You do not want to weigh yourself every day or every other day for that matter, as your weight has the potential to fluctuate on a daily basis. Weighing yourself once a week gives you a solid average.
Keep in mind that if you’re strength-training as part of your exercise regimen, you may see an increase of weight during the first week or so. It could be a good thing, it could mean you are experiencing an increase in muscle mass.
How much exercise?
There are varying recommendations on how often and how long you should exercise. It’s undisputed that little or no exercise is harmful, but for “optimal health,” the World Health Organization recommends one hour a day of moderate exercise. The WHO recommends doing this most days of the week to maintain not only a healthy body weight, but to be in good health.
While too little exercise is harmful to your body, too much is harmful as well. You need to pay attention to your body when you’re first beginning to work out. There is a difference between pushing your body and feeling strong resistance, and hurting your body by lifting too much or running so much that you begin to shake and feel like blacking out.
Besides, if you push yourself at the beginning too hard, you may convince yourself to quit. Start it slow, you’ll be able to lift 200 pounds and run a mile soon enough.