You've got to move it, move it

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Photos by Getty Images

Whether you want to lose a little or a lot of weight, there are three essential components for weight loss success: a healthy relationship with food, an active lifestyle and a balanced approach to living.

So it's surprising to find that so many people overlook the need to move it to lose it. Most of us know that regular physical activity is important for health, but we struggle to translate that knowledge into daily practice and motivation.

Make it personal
Many people fail when they start an exercise kick. Why? Well, there are a whole host of reasons, but time and time again it comes back to a balanced approach to living. If you work in a high pressured office, an hour and a half for a lunchtime gym class, shower and time to munch down a sandwich, just isn’t going to happen. And if it’s been a while since your body was in lycra, starting with a 60min cardio pump class, may be pushing things to far. The key is to find those activities you enjoy, at the right times of your week, so that physical activity becomes as routine as brushing your teeth.

The power of three
Keep your focus on a variety of the three types of physical activity - cardio respiratory, resistance and stretching activities. A balanced workout includes cardio or aerobic activities to burn kilojoules and strengthen the heart; resistance activities to tone the muscles, maintain metabolism and bone health; and stretching activities to maintain flexibility.

Top tips

  • When it comes to burning more kilojoules, if you’re intimidated by the word “Exercise”, focus on increasing your everyday “Activity”, and remember every move you make counts! Try wearing a pedometer and aim to gradually increase your steps-per-day.

  • If lack of time is challenging, try breaking it up into multiple small bouts. Three 10-minute sessions are just as effective as one 30-minute session.

  • For many people starting out with exercise, especially those overweight, home is where the heart is. Motivating audio cassettes, DVD’s and videos, plus yoga mats and cross trainer weights, can get you going with in-home walking and activity programs.

  • Instead of watching TV after dinner, take a family walk or bike ride around the block to burn kilojoules and spend quality time together.

  • Plan a family weekend trip to the zoo – the kids will love learning about the animals, and everyone will benefit from physical activity in the process.

    How do you kep your exercise routine interesting? Tell us below...

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