Sunday, July 17, 2011

Get Off Your Ass and Lose Weight

What will it take you to be motivated to lose the weight you keep saying you’re going to lose? Will illness be the motivator? Or how about that high school reunion, or that long dreamed of vacation cruise. It could be that you’re tired of being out of breath while climbing stairs, cleaning house or shopping at the mall. Whatever it takes, there are benefits for losing weight. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 pounds overweight or 200, you still need to get motivated to get off your keister and lose that weight.

My body hates the “Diet” word. If I even think the word diet, my body goes into starvation mode and stores everything I eat in the fat cells in my thighs. So, I don’t diet, I eat healthy and make good food choices. Am I playing mental tricks? Sure, but it works for me.

Healthy eating of course is the beginning of losing that weight, but you also need to exercise to help it along. Why is getting off your butt and exercising important? There are several reasons.

Exercise or physical activity will help burn the calories you are taking into your body. The more you move the more calories you burn; it’s as simple as that. You are burning calories by doing housework or running after your children. The trick is to get your body moving in different ways.

Exercise can help you get off that plateau you may be on in your weight loss program. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you are stuck at a certain weight. The temptation is to give up at that point. You can breathe through that plateau point by increasing physical activity. Especially recommended is strength training. Working with weights, helps build muscles and muscles burn fat.

Increased physical activity enhances your metabolic rate and that rate stays high for some time even after you’ve stopped exercise.

Sleeping patterns improve when you are getting more exercise. Do not exercise right before bedtime because it can keep you awake. Experts recommend at least three hours between exercise and bedtime. Moving that body and stretching your limbs is also good for both the body and soul. It improves mood and releases endorphins in the brain that increases your feeling of well being. By the way, you get the same rush when you’re in love, or eat chocolate. I’m not recommending eating chocolate!

More importantly, getting the proper physical exercise can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Physical exercise is recommended in treatment of certain mental issues such as depression. How can it not help when it produces those feel-good endorphins?

Here are some hints to get motivated to exercise. Set small goals and be sure they are measurable. Take small steps and once you’ve met that goal, set a new one. Always be sure your goals are practical. It isn’t realistic to make a goal of losing 50 pounds in one month. With that decision you’ve set yourself up for a crushing defeat. So don’t set your expectations too high or you’re likely to be discouraged and quit.

Set up a regular schedule and stick to it. Even if you are only exercising three times a week, be sure to get those three times in every week. You can try marking this schedule down in your calendar which will make sticking to your plan easier. Be sure to make exercise fun. If you used to love to dance, put on an oldie and just move your body. Dancing is wonderful exercise. Include your children, they will love dancing with Mommy or Daddy, and it can be fun for the whole family. Join a water aerobics class or any other class. By planning ahead and sticking to a schedule, you will gain valuable support in your diet and exercise plan.

Get ready for that vacation, reunion, or special event you’re looking forward to. You can do it, set small goals and reward yourself with a new outfit every time you reach your goal. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you for it.