At 305 pounds, the thought of exercising made me tired. When I turned my back on obesity forever, I reluctantly gave exercise a try. Surprisingly I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. In fact, I discovered that I really enjoyed exercising!
It’s important to remember that a commitment to reasonable exercise can often determine how successful your weight loss efforts are. Exercise burns calories and builds lean muscle. By reducing the calories you eat, and burning calories through exercise, you are creating a calorie deficit which can help you lose pounds.
If you already know all these things, but are still having trouble getting off the couch, here are 5 ways to get started exercising this week.
- Take your measurements. This will be important as your body changes. As you are taking your physical measurements, also think about mentally measuring your fitness level. Ask yourself: “Where am I today, and where would I like to be.”
- If this is your first attempt at exercise, start small. Don't expect to run 3 miles on day one, if the most exercise you've gotten in recent memory is searching for the remote control. If you have exercised in the past, start below where you used to be. If you previously walked for 30 minutes, start out walking for 15 minutes. In either scenario, start small and build fast. You will be surprised how quickly your fitness level increases.
- Grab a friend. Studies prove that people who exercise together are more consistent than those who exercise alone. My backyard neighbor and I used to power walk almost every morning. Just knowing she was waiting for me and vice versa was very motivating for both of us.
- Vary your activity. You've heard it before, but it is easy to get bored and burned out if you just choose one type of exercise. If you like to walk, then try adding hiking for variety. If running is your thing, biking is a natural addition to that. Throw in swimming and you might just find yourself training for a triathlon.
- Write it down. Journal your goals and your achievements. I wish I had done more journaling than I did. It would be inspiring for me to look back and see where I was and how far I progressed. The journal can also serve as an incentive if you fall behind on your exercise plans. By looking back at all you have accomplished, it may serve to get you motivated once again.
The most important thing is to just get started. I'm so glad I overcame the embarrassment I felt when I first started walking for fitness as a 305 pound morbidly obese person. I'm thankful that I no longer have to sit on the sidelines while my kids play basketball or make excuses as to why we can't go on a walk as a family. Exercise and weight loss changed my life. Take the risk, take the chance – take the first step!