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Exercise

As most of us know, to really see results in weight loss, a sensible diet and exercise must be combined to achieve maximum results. Some of us believe that exercise alone will make us thin. We rush off in our brand new sneakers and try to exercise our butt off. What happens? Does that "spare tire" disappear? No. So we give up. Others believe that simply cutting out fat in our diets will create that "to die for" body often seen on television and in magazines. The truth is that both factors are crucial. Although aerobic exercise is extremely healthy, it does not help the average person to lose weight, unless combined with a weight loss diet. Here we will give some simple exercise tips and advice for those on the quest to lose weight, tone up, and improve health.


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Most importantly, get into an exercise routine gradually or you will burn out quickly or even injure yourself. Try something that is easy for beginners such as regular, steady walking. Breathing heavier can help you to be healthier, and even a short walk will give your heart and lungs and major leg muscles a good workout. Try to walk 5 minutes a day for the first week. Walk 8 minutes the next week. Stay at 8-minute walks until you feel comfortable. Then increase your walks to 11 minutes. Slowly lengthen each walk by 3 minutes, or walk faster. This gradual increase will unquestionably increase your chances of sticking with it.


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Another tip is to exercise in shorter bouts rather than committing yourself to 40 minutes per day, which can be very difficult to squeeze into a busy lifestyle. Try to find 10 minutes three or four times a day instead. Park your car further than you normally would or take a walk on your lunch break. Do some quick step exercises while dinner cooks. Make the exercise fit your lifestyle.


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Easy Ways to Incorporate Exercise into Your Lifestyle:

  • PLAY with your kids! Play some kind of game requiring physical movement. They will love you for it, and you will benefit in more ways than you can imagine.
  • Videos are a great way for weight loss "newbies" to begin exercising. Low impact is best for beginners and is considered the safest level of impact as far as injury risk goes.
  • Participate in a message board to gain and give support from others.
  • Keep a journal of your exercises and foods you eat.
  • Keep track of your measurements - inches as well as pounds. There is nothing like seeing your progress on paper.
  • Dance! (weight-bearing or non-weight-bearing) - You can dance in a health club, in a nightclub, or at home.
  • Water Workouts (non-weight-bearing) - Exercising in water helps you feel flexible, strong, at less risk of injury, and refreshed.
  • Stretch! Stretching makes you more flexible (to help keep you from getting hurt), makes you feel relaxed, improves your blood flow, and keeps your muscles from getting tight after doing other exercises.
  • Tighten your abs while sitting at your desk. When you exhale, pull your stomach in, pushing the air out. Pull your stomach in tightly and a little quickly, and then let it out naturally while you breathe air back into your lungs.
  • You will never regret going to the gym, only that you didn't go.
  • Moving any part of your body, even for a short time, can make you healthier.
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Some of you may only be interested in exercising in order to lose weight. If so, here's some advice. No exercise can help you to reduce fat. Exercise builds muscles and can reshape your body. It does not eliminate fat. If you exercise while dieting, you will reduce the 'plateau' effect of dieting and thus maintain your rate of weight loss. But only for as long as you keep exercising. Physical activity uses up excess calories that otherwise would be stored as fat. The higher our metabolic rate, the easier it is to lose weight. In this way, exercise helps to overcome the 'plateau' effect. Muscle cells are 8 times more metabolically active than fat cells. So the more muscle you have, the less fat you have and the easier it is to lose weight. If you don't follow a sensible weight loss diet while exercising, you will not lose weight. Although abdominal exercise is great for strengthening and tightening the abdominal muscles, it does not help the average person to lose weight, unless combined with a weight loss diet. So eat sensibly, exercise, and you should see the pounds drop off.


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Focus on the benefits. Exercise is good for mental health as well as your emotional well-being. Another way to motivate yourself is to go ahead and change into your exercise clothes, even if you think you don't feel like exercising. Most of the time, you'll go ahead and break a sweat since you're dressed for the occasion. It is also important to avoid over-exercising. If you feel yourself struggling for breath, you are working too hard. Slow yourself down or decrease resistance. You don't want to have to forfeit tomorrow because you pushed too hard today. Exercise is by far the easiest way to improve your health. It helps us live longer, it makes us feel better and it makes us happier.


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