Building muscle and increasing your endurance is a challenging proposition for anyone, but it can be particularly difficult if you’re overweight. Whether you’re carrying just a few extra pounds or ready to take the first steps on a path to serious weight loss, getting fit and losing weight can be difficult. Here are some ways to discover the best exercise for you and take charge of your workout routine*.
Know What You’re In It For
There are countless reasons to start exercising, particularly if you’re overweight. When you stick to a consistent workout schedule, you can enjoy a decrease in the following health risks:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
On the flip side, you’ll enjoy improved energy levels, greater strength and flexibility, and, for many individuals, an improved body image. Some of these benefits come from sustained workout schedules, while others can be achieved in just a few simple activities. For the most health benefits, consider how you can stick with a long-term workout plan.
Start With (Literal) Baby Steps
Walking is a natural place to start any exercise program. Walking just a few minutes a day is an achievable goal in terms of fitness for just about anyone! If you’re jumping into fitness for the first time (or the first time in years), this is also a good place to start to reduce the risk of injury.
Start out with just 10 minutes a day, building toward 30 minutes or more. If you need to begin with a leisurely stroll, think about ways to slowly increase your pace as well as your length. A pace of 100 steps per minute is a moderate intensity workout and a great place to start.
Find Your Routine
Many people find that they enjoy walking or running so much that it becomes their go-to fitness activity for life. If that’s the case for you, fantastic!
However, you may live in an area where running outdoors is limited by the weather. Treadmill running can get boring – and not everyone likes running in the first place! And that’s okay. The most important thing is that you find an activity you like, and do it consistently.
Although sticking with a schedule can seem daunting, finding the right activity will go a long way in helping you maintain a workout regimen.
One fantastic way to create a routine and have fun is by joining a group fitness class. Group fitness classes provide a structured workout, accountability, and have instructors who will guide you through an effective workout.
Create Manageable Goals
The key to weight loss is creating manageable, achievable goals. Your group fitness instructor is a great resource to take advantage of here! He or she will likely be happy to talk over your goals with you, and touch bases with you regularly to make sure you’re progressing.
Remember that your goals should challenge you, but not defeat you. For someone just getting into fitness, “Lose 20 lbs. in a month,” is probably not a realistic goal. A much better goal would be, “Attend three cardio kickboxing classes every week for a month,” or “Reach a point where I can make it through an entire class without stopping to catch my breath.” As you cross these smaller goals off, you can begin to set larger ones.
Enjoying Your Workout
All the motivational speeches and dynamic workouts won’t help you reach your results if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. The best routines are those that leave you feeling accomplished at the end of a workout. Start a program that helps you start out small, improve your health and set you down a path of strength and fitness for life.
An Important Reminder
In case you haven’t heard it before, remember: You can do it! No one said fitness would be easy, but you have the power to take charge of your health and your life!