Just as yo-yo dieting is bad for weight loss, having an on-again, off-again relationship with working out is not good for your health. Stay on track with these tips.
Work out like crazy. Slack off. Work out like crazy. Slack off. Sound familiar? This irregular exercise pattern can mess with your weight and your health, by raising your body’s natural set point (the weight your biological system naturally tries to maintain) and making it harder to dip below that number. And research shows that bouts of vigorous exercise followed by weeks of inactivity can increase fat levels and put excess strain on your heart. All of which can be emotionally and psychologically taxing as well.
So the most important thing you can do in this battle is to adjust your mindset and adopt an effective, yet sustainable, routine that keeps you moving all year long.
Setting a goal is good, but stay away from “I want to lose X number of pounds.” Why? Because when you hit that magic number, you have an excuse to slack off again; if you don’t hit that number, it’s too easy to become frustrated and quit. I recommend setting a goal like, “I want to work out X minutes a day, X days a week,” which should ideally lead to “I want to maintain working out one hour each day, five days a week.” This is still measurable, but it makes regular exercise part of your healthy lifestyle; it raises your energy, lifts your mood, and makes you feel stronger and healthier.
Remember to ease into any new fitness routine. Starting off with an hour a day, five times a week is too fast. Doing too much too fast can lead to injury. Also, change things up and rotate your workouts to avoid boredom (another excuse to stop working out). Also doing the same thing over and over will lead to diminishing results as your body plateaus. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life.
If you are all unsure about how to do this, make an appointment for us to go over a safe routine and amount of activity for where you are right now.