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Activity & Excercise

"A Journey of a thousand miles starts with the very first step." – Confucius

Whatever our weight loss goals, we should understand and take advantage of the important role of exercise and activity in keeping our weight under control. A regular program of exercise is an important component of any plan to help individuals lose, gain or maintain their weight. One thing is certain. Most people do not get enough exercise in their ordinary routines. All of the advances of modern technology — from electric can openers to power steering — have made life easier, more comfortable and much less physically demanding. Yet our bodies need activity, especially if they are carrying around too much fat. Satisfying this need requires a definite plan, and a commitment. There are two main ways to increase the number of calories you expend:

  • Start a regular exercise program if you do not have one already.
  • Increase the amount of physical activity in your daily routine.

Tips to Get You Started
In order to successfully manage your weight you must include exercise in your daily routine. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Check with your doctor first. Since you are carrying around some extra "baggage," it is wise to get your doctor's "OK" before embarking on an exercise program.
  2. Choose activities that you think you'll enjoy. Most people will stick to their exercise program if they are having fun, even though they are working hard.
  3. Set aside a regular exercise time. Whether this means joining an exercise class or getting up a little earlier every day, make time for this addition to your routine and don't let anything get in your way. Planning ahead will help you get around interruptions in your workout schedule, such as bad weather and vacations.
  4. Set short term goals. Don't expect to lose 20 pounds in two weeks. It has taken awhile for you to gain the weight, it will take time to lose it. Keep a record of your progress and tell your friends and family about your achievements.
  5. Vary your exercise program. Change exercises or invite friends to join you to make your workout more enjoyable. There is no "best" exercise — just the one that works best for you. It won't be easy, especially at the start. But as you begin to feel better, look better and enjoy a new zest for life, you will be rewarded many times over for your efforts.

Tips to Keep You Going

  • Adopt a specific plan and write it down.
  • Keep setting realistic goals as you go along, and remind yourself of them often.
  • Keep a log to record your progress and make sure to keep it up-to-date.
  • Include weight and/or percent body fat measures in your log. Extra pounds can easily creep back.
  • Upgrade your fitness program as you progress.
  • Enlist the support and company of your family and friends.
  • Update others on your successes.
  • Avoid injuries by pacing yourself and including a warm up and cool down period as part of every workout.
  • Reward yourself periodically for a job well done!

Activity Pyramid

The Activity Pyramid is an easy way to work better fitness into your lifestyle. Each week, try to increase your physical activity using this guide.

To start:

  • If you are inactive (rarely do activity), adopt more of the daily activities listed at the base of the pyramid.
  • If you exercise some of the time, but not regularly, choose activities from the middle of the pyramid and make time for them everyday.
  • If you are consistent (active most of the time or at least 4 days each week), choose activities from the whole pyramid to change your routine and exploring new activities