Food and eating habits are a large part of health and weight maintenance. In fact, the key to weight maintenance is related 80% to nutrition and 20% to exercise. For this reason, we tend to have a large focus on food and diet when talking about weight loss. However, when it comes to health, nutrition’s best companion is exercise. You need both in order to be successful in your New Years resolution.
Establishing an exercise routine from scratch can be difficult if you are not used to working out very often. There are many excuses for not exercising. Some of them include the price of a gym membership, busy schedules, and laziness (just to name a few). As with any challenge, you do need to put effort in if you want to see a result. Know that this new adventure may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
Gym memberships can be very pricy. If you are deciding between gyms, see what memberships include. For example, some might include group fitness and nutrition consults whereas others may just include using the equipment. If a membership isn’t in the budget, no worries!
There are plenty of ways to exercise at home or outside. You can search workouts on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website that do not need to be done in a gym. You will get thousands of different videos for free that you can choose from!
Once you figure out your best way to exercise (either at the gym or at home), it is hard to know where to start! My best advice is to first determine your goal – weight loss, weight maintenance, muscle toning, etc. and let that be the guide for how you exercise.
It is important not to go from zero to one hundred because you will actually put your body in harm. If you are not used to running, try walking for 25 minutes and jogging for 5. Then, as you workout more, you can alter the ratio to 20 minutes walking and 10 minute jogging and so on until you reach your running goal.
Finally, do not let laziness get in the way of your success. You do not have to go to the gym 7 days a week. Do not have this expectation. If you really are not feeling a hard workout one day, just go for a walk or do a 10-minute cardio exercise at home to get your heart rate up. I guarantee you will feel happier and healthier afterwards!
What are some of your motivations for exercising?
Sweet Life Wellness Student Intern
Dietetics student at University of Maryland-College Park